Does splitting bill mean each person paying for what they actually had, as in 'going Dutch'? Or Does it mean dividing the bill equally?

  • 1
    It could mean either one (and possibly some others) -- there is no rigorous definition for the term.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 26, 2016 at 11:35
  • 1
    @HotLicks - how do you know? can you provide any reference to what you are saying or is it just your own personal impression?
    – user 66974
    Jul 26, 2016 at 12:30
  • @Saturana - Can you provide a reference to some law that dictates one meaning or the other?
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Splitting the bill refers to an even division of the bill:

"Going Dutch" is a term that indicates that each person participating in a group activity pays for themselves, rather than any person paying for anyone else, particularly in a restaurant bill. It is also called Dutch date, Dutch treat (the oldest form and "doing Dutch".

There are two possible senses—each person paying their own expenses, or the entire bill being split (divided evenly) between all participants. In strict usage, "Going Dutch" refers to the former, paying one's own expenses, and the latter is referred to as "splitting the bill", but in casual usage these may both be referred to as "going Dutch".

A derivative is "Sharing Dutch", which stands for having a joint ownership of luxury goods. For example: four people share the ownership of a plane, boat, car or any other sharable high-end product. This in order to minimize cost, sharing the same passion for that particular product and to have the maximum usage of this product.


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