In the news today was a problem called Car Dooring, where careless car drivers (and sometimes passengers) open their car door straight into passing traffic. This can cause damage to the car and passing vehicles, and worse, seriously injure or even kill cyclists. With their love of cycling it's unsurprising that the solution was found in the Netherlands, and it's called the Dutch Reach.
This brings to mind a very different class of expressions; those including Dutch in a derogatory sense. These originated in the 17th century and alter the following word to mean its opposite, but which one of the following is not one of those expressions?
Dutch Gold, Dutch Treat, Dutch Barn, Dutch Courage, Dutch Cousins and Dutch Wife.
Thank you for this lexical Dutch Treat. Unfortunately there are other, quite scabrous uses as well linking Dutch to rudder, oven (yes oven), & dingdong. Dutch Uncle I gather is like those given above, though Double Dutch – a jump rope feat, seems entirely innocuous, unless someone knows otherwise!
Dutch Reach however was conceived in total innocence despite imputations generated in the dirty minds of many who fixate on the combination, Dutch for the residual of British dislike for their former enemy ocean power, and Reach for its use in ‘reach around’ which has a sexual meaning to some.
But the Dutch Reach is just what it says it is: a method for safe exiting of vehicles to avoid doorings.
The maneuver used to be very popular in The Netherlands before it became a road sharing heaven.
And the move involves reaching across to open the car door with your far hand, causing you to swivel and easily look out to the side mirror, out and back for on-coming bicyclists — or mopeds, motorcyclists, skateboarders, joggers, or any other vehicle traveling adjacent to a stopped vehicle whose occupant might heedlessly fling open a door – cars, suvs, trucks, buses or even light rail! Evidence of which may be found at:
Doorings’ victims not just cyclists
Full information on the method is at the Dutch Reach Project: www.dutchreach.org