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Dutchman, a Perfect Patch on an Imperfection

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Working for a furniture maker in New England, Steven and his co-workers used the word Dutchman to denote a high-quality patch to disguise an imperfection in the wood. In an article in the Journal of American Speech, historian Archie Green notes that many similar terms have arisen amid a mingling of immigrants in the labor force. Dutchman in this sense, for example, may reflect the superb craftsmanship of German woodworkers, the German Deutsch or “German,” often being adapted into English as Dutch. This is part of a complete episode.

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