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Dutch Wife

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Norb
56999.  Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:35 pm Reply with quote

The japanese word for a sex-doll is Datch Waifu which means "Dutch Wife"

One definition I found was as follows

Dutch wife: An open frame constructed of cane, originally used in the Dutch East Indies and other hot countries to rest the limbs in bed; also a bolster used for the same purpose. Called thus because it was round, fat and just lay there.

I find it interesting as we have one in bed, in the sense of a body length pillow or bolster, which helps provide support for the upper leg if like me, you sleep on your side, although probably not as much fun as a japanese one ;)

 
suze
57002.  Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:20 pm Reply with quote

The use of "Dutch" in expressions like this dates from the 17th century. England and the Netherlands were not on friendly terms at the time, and many things were disparagingly spoken of as Dutch (some of these came later, after England had made peace by installing a Dutchman as King, but the principle had clearly caught on).

Dutch courage - it being insinuated that a Dutchman had to be drunk in order to do anything courageous
Dutch defense - to plead guilty (appears in Tom Jones. No, not the Welsh singer ...)
Dutch reckoning - a non-itemized bill (Jonathan Swift used this, insinuating that the Dutch ripped one off)
Dutch treat - no treat at all (now used as "going Dutch", as in if you take me out to dinner but I pay for myself)
Dutch widow - a prostitute (used several times by Thomas Middleton, a contemporary of Shakespeare)

Similarly, a Dutch wife was a long bolster used to support one in bed - the insinuation being that it was only used if one didn't have a real wife to keep one comfortable in bed

Such phrases are of course not unique to the English being rude about the Dutch. The Poles are rude about the Lithuanians (and vice versa). In English, to take French leave means to go AWOL, but in French they call this filer l'Anglaise (to leave as the English). The term "Essex girl" was used in Kent before anywhere else, and the good people of Essex retorted with "Chatham girl" - picked up by Chris Evans who brought it to the world. And so on.

But I heard a new one - to me at least - a few days ago. My step daughter was complaining about a radio we got as a free gift with something. Said radio is a bit rubbish and the tuning dial has to be turned the wrong way as compared to its label. Anyway, this led her to describe the radio as "totally bloody Swiss". (OK, so maybe it was a stronger word than "bloody", but you get the idea!)

Is this is a well known saying? I hadn't heard it before...

 
Jenny
57012.  Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:17 pm Reply with quote

Was a Dutch cap so called because they were invented in Holland or was that also meant to be insulting?

 
gerontius grumpus
57048.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:38 am Reply with quote

Spanish is sometimes used in a similar way to mean simple or improvised as in Spanish windlass.


Last edited by gerontius grumpus on Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total

 
suze
57075.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:10 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Was a Dutch cap so called because they were invented in Holland or was that also meant to be insulting?


On this occasion, it's not an insult. The world's first birth control clinic was opened in the Netherlands in 1882 by one Aletta Jacobs. Her preferred contraceptive device was the diaphragm, and women would travel from other lands to get one fitted since there were no other clinics. Hence, Dutch cap.

 
tetsabb
57077.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:14 am Reply with quote

Never been able to get one over my head...

 
mckeonj
58901.  Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:48 am Reply with quote

There is a veritable plethora of 'Dutch' phrases, Brewer's Dictionary yielded 189 references:
http://www.bartleby.com/81/
most phrases date back to the enmity between the Dutch and the British, but a small number refer to things which are actually Dutch; for example; Dutch courage - inspired by alcohol; versus Dutch cap - contraceptive diaphragm originally developed by a Dutch doctor, and only available in Holland.
So QI could have a bit of fun with an 'odd one out' question involving four or five Dutch things. A golden opportunity for a Jo Brand gynaecological broadside.

 
Jenny
59111.  Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:33 pm Reply with quote

On the contraceptive note, the British call condoms French letters, but the French call them chapeaux Anglaises.

 
Flash
64798.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:50 am Reply with quote

Fanny Blankers-Koen was a Dutch athlete known as "The Flying Housewife" (and also "Amazing Fanny") after winning four gold medals in the 1948 Olympics whilst already the mother of two.

 
suze
64808.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:16 am Reply with quote

Precisely who called her "Amazing Fanny", and did they do so with a straight face?

But yes indeed, Mrs Blankers-Koen won four gold medals, the 100 meters, 200 meters, 80 meters hurdles and 4 x 100 relay. She also held the world high jump and long jump records at the time, but didn't compete in those events in the Olympics. The two winners were both well behind Amazing Fanny's world records, so she would likely have won them as well had she taken part. She was also Dutch shot put champion, and would have walked the pentathlon, except that there wasn't one at the 1948 games.

Could a woman of 30 with two kids win all these events today? I doubt it.

A couple of bits of Fanny trivia. After her Olympic triumph, she was instrumental in having a rival sprinter with the unlikely name of Foekje Dilemma thrown off the Dutch team. She alleged that Dilemma was a man, but there appears to have been no obvious evidence for this. (Unlike the Polish/American sprinter Stella Walsh, who just was a man. When "she" died in 1980, doctors allowed journalists to view the body - which left the matter in little doubt.)

Oh, and a piece of Olympic trivia about that relay. The Dutch team that won it consisted of Xenia Stad-de Jong, Jeanette Witziers- Timmer, Gerda van der Kade-Koudijs and Fanny Blankers-Koen. It's the only time an Olympic relay race has been won by four married women.

 
Celebaelin
64813.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:41 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
She was also Dutch shot put champion, and would have walked the pentathlon, except that there wasn't one at the 1948 games.

Do you perhaps mean the heptathlon? Or is this the real deal and she also swam, rode, shot and fenced?

 
suze
64819.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:00 am Reply with quote

No, I mean the pentathlon.

The heptathlon as now contested is a relatively recent invention, introduced to the Olympic Games in 1984. Before that, women contested the pentathlon - 200 meters, 80 meters hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put - with the hurdles event increased to 100 meters in 1972 and the 200 meters replaced by the 800 meters in 1980. It was the pentathlon that Mary Peters won in Munich at the 1972 Olympic Games. Since Fanny held the world record for four of the five disciplines and was Dutch champion at the fifth, I think it's fair to assume she would probably have won it had it been in the Olympics that year!

The other event you refer to, consisting of show jumping, fencing, shooting, swimming and a cross country run, is the Modern Pentathlon. That sport was invented by Baron de Coubertin in order to leave his own mark on the Olympic programme, but women didn't take part until 2000 (when the winner was Dr Stephanie Cook from Scotland).

 
Celebaelin
64821.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:04 am Reply with quote

Ah, well, that would involve being aware of the terrible, Olympian one might say, legacy of sexual descrimination under which women have had to struggle over the years. Or knowing about sport. I deny all knowledge of either (quite credibly it appears).

 
suze
64824.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:13 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Ah, well, that would involve being aware of the terrible, Olympian one might say, legacy of sexual descrimination under which women have had to struggle over the years. Or knowing about sport. I deny all knowledge of either (quite credibly it appears).


Well of course I'm glad that you've noted the first!

As for knowing about sport, well not doing is nothing to be ashamed of. That I do know a fair bit about three sports (athletics of the track and field kind, football of the association kind and hockey of the ice kind) is perhaps more worrying. Comes in useful some times though ...

 
Flash
64826.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:21 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Precisely who called her "Amazing Fanny", and did they do so with a straight face?


I didn't make it up, anyway - google "Amazing Fanny" Blankers-Koen and you'll see.

 

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