Tag Archives: drinks
‘rum’

‘rum’

  Captain Roberts’ Crew carousing at Old Calabar River from The Pirates Own Book (1837) by Charles Ellms       The noun rum, denoting an alcoholic spirit distilled from molasses and other sugar-cane products, is first attested in 1654 in Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut: Berbados Liquors, commonly called Rum, Kill Deuill […]

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brandy

brandy

  The Grand Master; or, Adventures of Qui Hi? in Hindostan. A Hudibrastic Poem in Eight Cantos by Quiz (1816) – illustration by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) (photograph: Julie L. Mellby – Princeton University Library)       The noun brandy appeared around 1640. Its original forms were brandwine and brandewine, from Dutch brandewijn, burnt (= […]

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‘gin’

‘gin’

  Gin Lane (1751) by William Hogarth     The Latin noun juniperus is the origin of the English juniper and of the Old French genevre (modern French genièvre), which was adopted in Middle Dutch as genever (modern Dutch jenever). In the early 17th century, this Dutch noun came to be used in the sense […]

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whisky

whisky

  A Nip against the Cold – 1869 by the Scottish painter Erskine Nicol (1825-1904)     Whisky, or whiskey, is a spirit distilled originally in Ireland and Scotland, and still chiefly in the British Isles, from malted barley with or without unmalted barley or other cereals, in the USA chiefly from maize or rye. […]

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sherry

sherry

  Falstaff mit Handschuhen, Zinnkanne und Weinglas (Falstaff with gloves, pewter jug and wine glass – 1919) by Eduard von Grützner     The word sherry is an alteration of the obsolete sherris, also spelt sherries, which was mistaken for a plural. The original word was a rendering of Spanish (vino de) Xeres, (wine of) […]

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mustard

mustard

  black mustard seeds – photograph: Sanjay Acharya     The English word mustard is from Anglo-Norman and Old French forms such as mustarde and moustarde, meaning a condiment prepared with crushed mustard grains. These words are composed of most, meaning must (grape juice before or during fermentation) and the suffix -ard. This condiment was […]

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good wine needs no bush

good wine needs no bush

  Bacchino malato (Young sick Bacchus) – circa 1593 – self-portrait by Caravaggio     The proverb good wine needs no bush means something that is good does not need to be advertised.   The bush in this sense of advertisement is the branch or bunch of ivy that used to be hung up as a […]

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teetotal

teetotal

  tombstone of Richard ‘Dicky’ Turner at Preston “Beneath this stone are deposited the remains of Richard Turner, author of the word teetotal as applied to abstinence from all intoxicating liquors, who departed this life on the 27th day of October 1846, aged 56 years.” photograph: Paul D. Swarbrick   The adjective teetotal in the sense of choosing, or characterised by, total […]

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moonshine

moonshine

      MEANING   foolish or fanciful talk, ideas, plans, etc.     ORIGIN   It is a shortening of moonshine in the water, meaning appearance without substance, something unsubstantial or unreal. In this phrase, moonshine means moonlight. The 15th-century correspondence between members of the Paston family of Norfolk gentry, and with others connected […]

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to wet one’s whistle

to wet one’s whistle

  How Are You Going To Wet Your Whistle (When the whole darn world goes dry) a Prohibition song by Francis Byrne, Frank McIntyre & Percy Wenrich (1919) source: The Authentic History Center       Since medieval times, the word whistle has been jocular for the mouth or throat as used in speaking or […]

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