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Dutch Courage

The courage excited by drink; pot valour.

“In the Dutch wars (in the time of Charles II.), ...the captain of the Hollander man-of-war, when about to engage with our ships, usually set ... a hogshead of brandy abroach before the mast, and bid the men drink ... and our men felt the force of the brandy to their cost.” —Notes and Queries (Oct. 15, 1892, p. 304).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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