Benefits of Drinking Alcohol By Vikram Karve
The term “Dutch Courage” means the confidence you get after drinking alcohol.
Yes — Dutch Courage refers to “Courage” gained from intoxication with alcohol.
It is a well-known fact that consumption of alcohol reduces your inhibitions — so — drinking alcohol probably removes the “fears” and “apprehensions” in your mind — and — gives you “courage” to do things you would otherwise hesitate to do.
Hence — the expression “Dutch Courage” denotes strength or confidence gained from drinking alcohol — a sort of “false bravado” you feel and sometimes display when you are intoxicated and feeling “high”.
Why the prefix “Dutch”…?
It is believed that the term “Dutch Courage” was coined during the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 17th century.
One version is that Jenever (or Dutch Gin) was used by English soldiers for its calming effects before battle — and — for its supposed warming properties on the body in cold weather.
Another version has it that English soldiers noted the bravery-inducing effects of Jenever (Dutch Gin) on Dutch soldiers.
So — the origin of the term was either because the English soldiers drank before a battle to fight the fear with Dutch Gin — or — because they saw the Dutch soldiers drink Jenever (Dutch Gin) and witnessed the bravery with which they fought after drinking it.
Since — in both cases — it was “Dutch” Gin which gave the “Courage” — hence — it was called “Dutch Courage”.
Over the years — the colloquial military term “Dutch Courage” referred to the “Courage” gained by drinking Alcohol — and — the Military and Naval custom of using alcoholic spirits to fortify resolve before a battle or a before tough task or evolution.
Hence the traditions of Rum Rations in the Military and Navy — and special issues of Rum to Soldiers before battle — and — “splice the mainbrace” orders on warships.
Even today — in many Military Forces — Alcoholic Liquor is issued at concessional rates to Military Personnel — probably with the aim of inducing and facilitating “Dutch Courage”.
Well — as far as my experience goes — in the Navy (and maybe in the other Military Forces too) — “Dutch Courage” is very useful — even in “peacetime soldiering” — since it helps maintain relationship balance between superior and subordinate — and — it is a “stress buster” too — since it facilitates venting out of your inner frustrations.
On one ship — I had a terrible sadistic boss — a cruel tyrant — who would berate and harangue me continuously.
After being bullied, scolded and harassed by my boss whole day — in the evening — after imbibing a generous amount of alcohol to build up “Dutch Courage” — I would give it back to my boss nice and proper — thereby venting out my frustrations — and — this would relieve my pent-up anger and stress.
(Anything you do when you are supposed to be “drunk” is taken less seriously than if you do the same thing when you are sober)
So — even if my boss complained — the next morning — I would say that “I don’t remember anything” — and get off the hook.
Sometimes — I would feign drunkenness when I wanted to “bullshit” someone senior to me.
The Captain once joked — that — in the daytime — it was I who was running away from my boss — and — at night — it was my boss who was running away from me.
My “Dutch Courage” had a salutary effect — my boss started avoiding me in the evenings — and also — he reduced his bullying, diatribes and harsh behaviour — especially with me.
Also — I managed to keep my mental health intact — unlike a predecessor of mine — who could not cope with the continuous bullying, diatribes and harassment — and — a time came when he could not take it any longer — so — he jumped ship (AWOL)
(I wonder if he was a non-drinker)
The only unique perk you get in the military is concessional liquor — maybe — it is given with the aim of developing “Dutch Courage”.
Sometimes — when your courage fails you — it is “Dutch Courage” which will save the day — and maybe — help you win the “battle”.
There are many benefits of “Dutch Courage” — these are universal and apply to everyone.
“Dutch Courage” gives you the confidence do things you would otherwise hesitate to do — or be afraid of doing.
Also — as I told you — “Dutch Courage” helps you to vent out your pent-up emotions and release your stress.
“Dutch Courage” enables you to transcend emotional barriers in relationships.
“Dutch Courage” helps you speak the truth.
This concept can be used in the reverse manner by bosses to get genuine feedback — and to understand, and get an insight into, the true character of their subordinates, colleagues and friends.
(remember: “Your true character comes out when you are drunk”)
Dear Reader — do tell us some “Dutch Courage” stories you have experienced or seen in your life.
I have already written a few in my blogs and will tell you some more from time to time.
To summarize — alcohol dissolves inhibitions, fears and anxieties — and — one of the effects of drinking alcohol is “Dutch Courage”.
“Dutch Courage” is a “benefit” of drinking alcohol.
How you use this “Dutch Courage” to your advantage — well — that’s your choice.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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Link to my source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2021/01/dutch-courage.html
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