English is the only language to refer to people from The Netherlands as Dutch. All other languages use derivations of The Netherlands or the province Holland.
Where does the word Dutch come from? And why does the country have two names?
Why do we call people in The Netherlands 'Dutch'?
The word 'Dutch' means people or nation in old English (þéod) and was used to describe the Germanic people who lived in the modern-day countries of Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.
English speakers drew the distinction between the 'high Dutch', the Germanic speakers living in the mountains in present-day southern Germany, and 'low Dutch', the Franconian speakers of the flatlands (or nether land) known today as The Netherlands.
When the region became a separate country in 1815 it was named the Kingdom of the Netherlands. English speakers continued to refer to people living in the kingdom by the medieval term 'Dutch' as a particular division of the Germanic ethnic group.
What is the difference between Holland and The Netherlands?
The terms 'The Netherlands' and 'Holland' are often used interchangeably by both English speakers and Dutch people but only one is correct. Holland was the most important of the seven provinces when The Netherlands became a Republic in 1648. During the Dutch Golden Age most trade ships would arrive at the ports in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, both situated in the province Holland. Since that time Holland has become synonymous with The Netherlands. The province Holland split into two in 1840, forming North (Amsterdam) and South Holland (The Hague and Rotterdam). The Golden Age name still lingers on as many foreign and native speakers refer to the country as Holland.