Dutch courage

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Dutch courage or liquid courage (cf potvaliancy[1]) refers to courage gained from intoxication with alcohol. It may also be used as a synonym for gin.[citation needed]

The popular story dates the etymology of the term to English soldiers fighting in the Thirty Years' War. One version states that Dutch gin was used by English soldiers for its believed warming properties on the body in cold weather and its calming effects before battle; another version states that English soldiers noted jenever's bravery-inducing effects on Dutch soldiers and dubbed it "Dutch Courage". Gin would go on to become popular in England thanks to King William III, who was also Stadtholder of the Netherlands, better known as William of Orange (1650-1702).

At least one online source, however, dates the origin of the term to 1805-1815,[2] almost two centuries after the relevant wars.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "potvaliancy". dictionary.com. Retrieved 29 Jan 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dutch courage". dictionary.com. Retrieved 11 July 2014.