Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Dutch n.4

also dutchie
[the precise origins of this term remain debatable. Either the term is an abbr. of SE duchess, strengthened by 17C rum duchess under rum adj. and the rhy. sl. Duchess of Fife n., or, according to the 19C music-hall star Albert Chevalier (1861–1923), whose signature song was entitled ‘My Old Dutch’, the term was semantically linked to another piece of sl., dial n., face. In Chevalier’s version, the original term was ‘my old Dutch clock’, whose face, i.e. dial, resembled that of his wife. See Dutch clock under Dutch adj.1 . Partridge, formerly a partisan of the Duchess, claimed to have changed his mind in the later editions of the DSUE. The OED, however, while citing Chevalier’s song in 1893, has a previous cit., dated four years earlier, and states unequivocally that in this context dutch is ‘an abbr. of duchess’. Given that the first cit. at Dutch clock under Dutch adj.1 is for old Dutch clock and dates from 1845, this would appear to be the root]

a wife; occas. just a woman; usu. as old Dutch.

[UK]J.F. Mitchell ‘Jimmy Johnson’s Holiday’ [lyrics] He made a vow he’d never row With his old Dutch again.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Wheels’ in Punch 7 May 217/1: If you ain’t done a rush six abreast, and skyfoozled some dawdling old Dutch.
[UK]J. Bent Criminal Life 272: Tell the Dutch to get that Jenny (watch) out, in case I am balled for my supper.
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘My Old Dutch!’ [lyrics] We’ve lived together now for forty years, An’ it don’t seem a day too much, There ain’t a lady livin’ in the land As I’d swop for my dear old Dutch.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 12 May 5/3: My Old Dutch is is only thirty-five years of age (She’s my seventh).
[UK]Sporting Times 21 Apr. 1/2: He took the old Dutch and the kids to the sea / For a beano or national holiday.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 10 Jan. 4/6: Mrs. Hamersley, connected by marriage with Jarrah Jack’s ‘old Dutch’.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Gifted’ Sporting Times 9 July 1/4: He found, when slanging his ‘old Dutch’ one day, / That his ‘missis’ was his master, the supreme performer.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 31 Jan. 6/4: My old Dutch heard all I’ve done.
[Aus]E.G. Murphy ‘Pink’ Dryblower’s Verses 82: ’E earned ’e’s kids an’ Dutch / Food and drink.
[UK]M. Marshall Tramp-Royal on the Toby 187: The dear old Dutch hadn’t closed her eyes five minutes when up comes the policeman.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 326: My poor old dutchie used to say it was just like hammering in a handful of nails.
[UK]C. Fluck ‘Bubbles’ of the Old Kent Road 36: I was overwhelmed with pride when I walked out of the house to see the ‘Old Dutch’ in a Rolls Royce hearse.
[US]J. Thompson Texas by the Tail (1994) 15: His wife, Helen – Dutch (for Duchess) as she was usually called.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Outcasts of Foolgarah (1975) 204: There ain’t a lady livin’ in the land as I’d change for me dear old Dutch .
[US]Maledicta IX 54: Dutch n [D] Wife.