"the Netherlands," early 14c., from Dutch Holland, probably Old Dutch holt lant "wood land," describing the district around Dordrecht, the nucleus of Holland. Technically, just one province of the Netherlands, but in English use extended to the whole nation. Related: Hollandish. Hollands for "Holland gin" was common late 18c.-early 19c. As a place-name in England it represents Old English hoh-land "high-land, land on a spur or hill."
updated on October 10, 2017