Re: Dutch Roll

From:         sandee@Think.COM (Daan Sandee)
Organization: TMC
Date:         12 Sep 95 20:18:55 
References:   1 2
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <airliners.1995.1444@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Pete Mellor <> writes:
|> Andrew Goldfinger <> asks:-
|> > What I don't know is why it is called "Dutch" roll.  Does anyone know the
|> > origin of the term?
|> Everything nasty is called "Dutch" (with the exception of my friends **
|> from The Netherlands, all of whom are delightful! :-)
|> I think it goes back to the 18th Century when England was at war with
|> Holland and a few boatloads of Dutch uncles (probably full of Dutch
|> courage) sailed up the Thames and wrecked the English fleet at anchor.

The 17th century, not the 18th. And the Medway, not the Thames. (I can
understand that the British are not as good at remembering this particular
moment in their history as the Dutch are.) But your etymology, about the
origin of miscellaneous derogatory phrases in English about the Dutch,
is correct.  As you will understand, it is a frequent topic on
alt.usage.english and soc.culture.netherlands.

As to the Dutch roll, several people have compared it to the movement
of a long-distance skater. Being familiar with both, I must say I don't
see any likeness. I prefer Pete's explanation.

Daan Sandee                                 
Cambridge, MA 02142