Wordsmith.Org


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Oct 8, 2010
This week's theme
Words about relations

This week's words
nepotism
cozen
avuncular
cater-cousin
Dutch uncle

This week's comments
AWADmail 432

Next week's theme
Words about color
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Dutch uncle

PRONUNCIATION:
(duch UNG-kuhl)

MEANING:
noun: Someone who advises or criticizes frankly and sternly.

ETYMOLOGY:
The English and the Dutch fought in many wars during the 17th and 18th century. Even though they are friendly with each other now, the English language still carries traces of the past animosity, demeaning the Dutch: from Dutch treat (where each must pay his or her own share), Dutch gold (imitation gold), Dutch courage (courage inspired by liquor), and so on. A Dutch uncle is the opposite of a typical uncle (kind and indulgent), he's not avuncular. You can be sure, he doesn't believe in nepotism.

USAGE:
"George Perry is the Dutch uncle some parents wished they could send their son to -- if the boy needed some straight talk."
Rayne Wolfe; Lessons & Lambs; Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California); Jul 29, 2008.

See more usage examples of Dutch uncle in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Nothing contributes more to peace of soul than having no opinion at all. -Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, scientist and philosopher (1742-1799)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith