Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dutch treat.

I posted a status on Facebook about April Fool's Day and how the expression Op een april verloor Alva zijn bril.

"On April 1, 1572 Dutch rebels captured the town of Den Briel from Spanish troops led by Lord Alva. This military success eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands from Spain. A Dutch rhyme goes: "Op 1 april/ Verloor Alva zijn Bril." This translates to: "On April 1st / Alva lost his 'glasses'". "Bril" means glasses in Dutch, but is also a pun on the name of the town, Den Briel. It is claimed that the tradition of pranks on April 1st arose to commemorate the victory in Den Briel and humiliation of the Spanish commander."

I got some reactions from friends who were inquiring about the origin of the phrase GOING DUTCH. So I googled and here's what I found:

A Dutch door (American English), or stable door (British English), or half door (Hiberno English), is a door divided horizontally in such a fashion that the bottom half may remain shut while the top half opens. The initial purpose of this door was to keep animals out of farmhouses, or keep children inside, while allowing light and air to filter through the open top.

It is said that it was from this concept that the phrase "going Dutch" originated, a term that indicates that each person participating in a group activity pays for himself, rather than any one person paying for anyone else, particularly in a restaurant bill. It is also called Dutch date and Dutch Treat.

In the United States, during the advent of second wave feminism, 1960s and 1970s, the Women's Movement encouraged women to pay their own way or to pay for men's meals. It is accepted by some that, on a date between a woman and man, the man takes initiative when it comes to paying the bill, meaning he is the one to pay

In the Philippines, it is referred to as KKB; an acronym for "Kanya-kanyang bayad" which means "pay for your own self".


Whitemist said...

i like the April fools history and where did you hear about the philipino thing?

Aledys Ver said...

Very interesting post! I didn't know the expression or the origin of the tradition to make practical jokes on 1 April in the NL.

bicycledutch said...

Nice story about Alva and Den Briel but it can't be true. Why else would other countries have the same tradition? On the site of the Meertens institute (link) we find the following:
"Over de herkomst van '1 april' zijn in de loop van de tijd uiteenlopende hypothesen opgesteld, die geen van allen tot een oplossing hebben geleid. [...] In verschillende landen zijn ook wel nationale gebeurtenissen aangevoerd als begin van de traditie. Deze verklaringen, die waarschijnlijk ooit zelf als aprilgrap zijn verzonnen, leiden soms tot op de dag van vandaag een hardnekkig leven. Zo denkt men in Nederland nog vaak dat de grappenmakerij begonnen is met de inname van Den Briel door de watergeuzen op 1 april 1572." So... the Den Briel story may be an April fools story in itself.

titabuds said...

KKB! :)