Where does the expression “Dutch treat” come from and What does Dutch treat mean?

We of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction have always been of an independent spirit, unwilling to be “beholden” to anyone, and, by the same token, taking it for granted that a neighbor or companion is of the same spirit.

In consequence, though far from any justifiable accusation of ungenerosity, we expect that anyone fully able to pay his own way will do so.

Thus, when, by design or chance, one of us is accompanied by an acquaintance into a place of entertainment or refreshment, we think it but natural that each pay his own scot.

And that is Dutch treat, or Dutch lunch, Dutch supper, or Dutch party.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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