Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Dutch uncle n.

also Dutch father

1. one who talks severely and critically, who lays down the law; usu. in phr. talk like a Dutch uncle.

[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 201: If you keep a cutting didoes, I must talk to you both like a Dutch uncle.
[UK]‘Epistle from Joe Muggins’s Dog’ in Era (London) 20 Feb. 3/3: See if I don’t talk to him like a ‘Dutch uncle’.
[UK]N&Q Ser. 1 VII 65/2: In some parts of America, when a person has determined to give another a regular lecture, he will often be heard to say, ‘I will talk to him like a Dutch uncle’; that is, he shall not escape this time.
[UK] ‘A Right Merry Ballad’ in Vanity Fair (N.Y.) Dec. 252: And he made, let us own it, some masterly strokes, / For like a Dutch Uncle he cozened the Yolks!
[UK]Sportsman 13 Oct. 2/1: Notes on News [...] Are his feelings those of [the] ‘heavy father’ [...] or of that curious avuncular relation [...] a ‘Dutch uncle’.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward in London in Complete Works (1922) 422: ‘Here’s a sperrit,’ said the lan’lord, a smile once more beamin on his face, ‘which will talk through him like a Dutch father!’.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 83: The Dutch Uncle is frequently introduced into conversation, when the last person one would wish to see is to be indirectly designated.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 21 June 61: Ally’s Own Slang Dictionary. A Dutch Uncle.
[UK]Kipling ‘In the Rukh’ in Many Inventions 223: If I only talk to my boys like a Dutch uncle dey say ‘It was only dot damned old Muller’.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 26: Dutch Uncle, an undesirable relative.
[UK]Gem 30 Mar. 6: He was a regular mammy’s baby boy. Talked like a Dutch Uncle, too.
[US]Van Loan ‘Excess Baggage’ in Score by Innings (2004) 399: I took Chick Dorsey off in a corner and talked to him like a Dutch uncle.
[US]K. Brush Young Man of Manhattan 236: Listen, baby; I’m going to talk to you like a Dutch uncle.
[US]P. Wylie Generation of Vipers 4: We [the U.S.] will sit like a benign Dutch Uncle at the peace table and hand out Sunday School rules and diplomas to the infuriated peoples of Europe.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 149: I’d looked after her like a Dutch uncle and done everything to please.
[US]F. Brown Madball (2019) 113: I’d like you to talk to them like a Dutch uncle.
[US]E. Stephens Blow Negative! 332: I’m no Dutch uncle.
[US]Maledicta 1:2 138: Two descriptive terms denote persons who speak a great deal: a dutch uncle ‘one who reprimands volubly and severely’ and a spanish athlete ‘braggart, one who throws the bull’.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 514: My tutor constable [...] talked to me like a Dutch uncle for a couple of days.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 133: Dutch uncle. Not a real uncle, but someone who has close enough standing to be able to speak plainly and severely.
F. Harding Rain Making 187: The person who talks to you like a Dutch uncle does it for your own good.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 395: He walked over to the boy and said in the warmest Dutch-uncle manner possible ‘Whaddaya reading?’.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 134: He sniffed one nostril, then its neighbor, more body language for Dutch uncle aplomb.
J.E. Tada Joni: An Unforgettable Story 151: Later, Diana told me of a similar ‘Dutch uncle’ talk she had had with Donald on the same subject.
M. Halligan Point 149: All these clichés ran through his head, so that he thought, that’s Dutch uncle talk, whatever that means.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 249: I don’t think a case of booze will express the proper thank-yous for the Dutch uncle talk he had with me.