Why do some Americans in the state of Pennsylvania refer to Germans as Dutch? Poor education?

Are Americans really as thick as all that? I know your bloody education system falls far beneath the United Kingdom, but can you really all be that ignorant? Dutch people are from the Netherlands not Germany!

6 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from Alsace, southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. Historically they have spoken the dialect of German known as Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German."

  • 8 years ago

    It's a corruption of the word "Deutsch" (or "Deitsch," in the local dialect) -- which, of course, is what Germans call themselves.

    And no one in Pennsylvania, or anywhere else in the U.S., refers to *all* Germans as "Dutch."

    The term "Pennsylvania Dutch" refers specifically to a population of people descended from German immigrants practicing Amish/Mennonite Christianity who settled in the U.S. (mainly in Pennsylvania) about 150 years ago. They are known for their plain clothes, rejection of modern technology and commitment to pacifism, and for the fact that they continue to speak a dialect of German in their daily lives.

    I live not far from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which is home to one of the larger populations of these kindly folk, and I can tell you that the term "Pennsylvania Dutch" is actually falling into disuse. It is much more common to hear them referred to as "Amish" these days.

    Source(s): EDIT: check the link in G-Girl's answer. It gives a fair description.
  • 8 years ago

    It's not poor education, its actually a correct term.

    In English, Germans are called "Germans". But Germans don't call themselves "Germans", they call themselves "deutsch", or as you guys pronounce it, "Dutch".

    For example, Germans don't call Germany by the name "Germany", Insted we called it "Deutschland", or as you guys pronounce it, "Dutch land".

    I mean, that's like saying a Spaniard is wrong by calling Spain, "Espana" and not "Spain". "Deutsch" is the German way to say "German". They are just saying it how a German would say it.

    Source(s): German and Spanish citizen.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Maybe for the same reason why there are some British who refer to Koreans and Japanese people as "chinks".

    BTW, the correct way to say German in German is "Deutsch".

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  • 8 years ago

    Imagine how thick you are when you think how thick the americans are. Which country are you from then I will tell you your thickness. By the way O I am not an AmericanI

  • Peach
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    We don't. G-Girl &Smorb answered you. Why don't you do some research before asking?

    Source(s): Proud Native Pennsylvania resident.
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