To Go Dutch indicates that each participant of a group foots his own portion of the expenses rather than allowing others to pay for someone else in a restaurant. Sometimes the bill may be split equally amongst all the members or each person would pay his own expense. Going Dutch in the sense where each person pays for his own expense may seem more reasonable as in this way each person pays for what he has ordered, expensive or otherwise. On the other hand to go Dutch in the sense of splitting the bill equally among the members of the group may seem to be easier as one need not go into the nitty-gritty of each individual’s order.
The expression "Go Dutch" has its origin around 1652-1784, during the English-Dutch wars. Around that period, the English commonly used the word Dutch in a number of expressions to convey a negative feeling. The British considered the Dutch to be stingy and miserly and used the phrases involving the Dutch to imply derogatory remarks. Among the several phrases that denoted negative stereotypes include Dutch uncle, Dutch oven, Dutch wife and Dutch courage(which meant courage induced by alcohol)
To Go Dutch means to split the cost of a bill and share the expenses equally among the members of the group. Go Dutch is generally used when two people out on a date share the expenses incurred. A term related to “Go Dutch” is “Dutch Treat” where the members of the group paid their part of the bill which in reality cannot be called a treat, in the first place. Dutch Picnic is a public picnic where the participants bring in their own food contrary to public picnics where the organizers are responsible to provide the food. A Dutch Feast is known for the host getting drunk before the guests.
Going Dutch is generally accepted in the student circle and between acquaintances but may not be considered a proper etiquette during a business lunch or a romantic date. Traditionally in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, it is usually the male who pays for the expenses while out on a date. But Going Dutch has caught the fancy of many in the Western countries probably influenced by the recognition of equality among genders in the workplace. This trend caught on during the 1970s, when the feminist groups rejected traditional gender assumptions and held the view that they had every right to pay their way while out on a date.