Showing posts with label Hangover. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hangover. Show all posts

Feb 20, 2015

More Drinking Terminology

Bootleg comes from the late 19th century smugglers' practice of concealing bottles in their boots. In football, "bootleg" means the quarterback fakes a hand-off and runs while concealing the ball, ostensibly on his leg.

Touching glasses, as in toasting, comes from ancient Greeks, who clanked their cups in order to purposefully spill some alcohol, which was an offering to the gods. It also follows a medieval custom of clinking goblets together in order to frighten the demons out of the spirits, because it sounded like church bells.

Shot glasses
serve two functions: to measure liquor for a cocktail or to consume straight liquor in a quick manner. The first printed use of the term “shot glass” occurred in the 1940s in a news story discussing ways to regulate the size of a shot of liquor in the restaurants and bars of New York City, US. Before it was called a shot glass, it was referred to as a jigger or pony. A jigger is a measuring glass of varying volume, while pony means one US liquid ounce.

The cocktail glass pre-dates the drink for which it is named. It was developed as a way to keep chilled drinks from being warmed by a drinker’s hands. During the early 20th century the martini glass, which is wider and less rounded, became distinct from the cocktail glass.

The earliest reference to a corkscrew was in 1681 where it was called a 'steel worm used for the drawing of corks out of bottles'. The term 'steel worm' was derived by gunsmiths, who had crafted similar tools by the same name for cleaning the barrel of a musket.

Blotto and blackout are British slang from the early 1900s. To blot can mean both to soak up a liquid and to erase something, which is what happens to your memory when you blackout.

Three sheets to the wind comes from sailing terminology. If all three sheets (on a three-sail rig) are released and allowed to go slack, the sail will flap about sloppily, the boat will lose speed, and control. Another theory comes from the Dutch windmill industry. The mills generally had four blades that were just frames. When a miller wanted to grind grain he would put material over the frames of the blades, so that the wind would propel them. If the miller only put three sheets on before it started spinning, it would be lopsided. As the unbalanced blades spun it would cause the entire mill to sway back and forth, much like a drunken person.

The first documented use of hangover or hang-over was in 1894, and it meant a survival or a thing left over from before. The term was also associated with the 1929 US stock market crash often written about as if it were a hangover from the wild 1920s.

The verbal short form of '86' to mean to dismiss or quash, to bar entry or further service to, and even to kill. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first verifiable use of 86 for 'refuse service' dates to a 1944 book about John Barrymore, a movie star of the 1920s and infamous for his drinking. "There was a bar in the Belasco building, but Barrymore was known there as an 'eighty-six'. An 'eighty-six', in the language of western dispensers, means do not serve him." There are many other theories, but this seems to be the most accepted.

Feb 13, 2015

Wordology, Hair of the Dog

The expression, “hair of the dog that bit you” refers to an old method of treating a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the same dog on the wound. We now use it to acknowledge the practice of soothing a hangover (actually alcohol withdrawal) by ingesting the same substance that caused the problem. The earliest known reference to the phrase "hair of the dog" in connection with drunkenness is found in a text from ancient Ugarit dating from the mid to late second millennium.

This metaphor first surfaced in a 1546 collection of English colloquial sayings: “What how fellow, thou knave, I pray thee let me and my fellow have a haire of the dog that bit us last night. And bitten were we bothe to the braine aright.”
Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same drink to soothe the nerves. "If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail the next day." Aristophanes used the Latin 'similia similibus curantur' (like cures like) and it exists today as the basic postulate of classical homeopathy.

During the 1930s, cocktails known as Corpse Revivers were served in hotels.
The Hungarian translation to English is, "(You may cure) the dog's bite with its fur," but has evolved into a short phrase "kutyaharapást szőrével" that is used frequently in other contexts when one is trying to express that the solution to a problem is more of the problem.

Among the Irish and Mexicans, the phrase "the cure, or "curarse la cruda" in Spanish is often used. In Costa Rica the same expression is used but it refers to a pig as in: hair of the same pig.

In some Slavic languages (Polish, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian and Russian) hair of the dog is called "a wedge" (klin), as in dislodging a stuck wedge with another one, which is used figuratively with regard to alcohol and in other contexts. The proper Russian term is – опохмелка "after being drunk", which indicates a process of drinking to decrease effects of drinking the night before.

In German, drinking alcohol the next morning to relieve the symptoms is sometimes described as ein Konterbier trinken "having a counter-beer." In Austria people have a reparatur-seidl "repair-beer." In Portuguese people speak of uma rebatida "a hit," meaning to strike away the hangover with more alcohol. There is a new Belgian beer called Snuffles and it is brewed exclusively for dogs. Maybe a new term, 'Hair of the Human' will come into vogue. 

Jan 23, 2015

Ten Alcohol Facts

1.) The production of alcohol has been traced back at least 12,000 years.
2.) Sherry was apparently the alcohol of choice for many world travelers; both Magellan and Columbus had it on board during their respective voyages. Magellan liked Sherry so much that he spent more money stockpiling the alcoholic beverage than he spent on weapons.
3.) Frederick the Great, who was the king of Prussia, was so enamored by alcohol that he tried to ban coffee in an attempt to get everyone in Prussia to drink liquor instead.
4.) The Pilgrims made the decision to stop at Plymouth Rock because they were running low on supplies, particularly alcohol.
5.) Winston Churchill’s mother was the inventor of the Manhattan cocktail. It is made with whiskey and sweet vermouth.
6.) Until the mid-1600′s, wine makers in France used oil soaked rags in lieu of corks.
7.) Vikings enjoyed alcohol, and they preferred to toast to their victories by drinking it from the skulls of their defeated enemies.
8.) Many historians believe that the practice of farming was not started as a means of food production, but in order to produce the necessary ingredients to create alcoholic beverages.
9.) Hangover cures date back almost as far as alcohol itself. Ancient Romans believed that eating a fried canary would take care of their hangover symptoms, and the ancient Greeks were believers in the power of cabbage. People today are still trying to find the perfect cure for a hangover. In France they put salt into a strong cup of coffee, and in Puerto Rico some drinkers lift their drinking arm and rub half a lemon under it. (None have proven to be effective).
10.) The term honeymoon traces its roots back to ancient Babylon. It was a tradition for the soon to be father-in-law to supply his daughter’s fiancé with a month’s supply of mead. This time period was referred to as the honey month, and that phrase eventually morphed into what we now call a honeymoon.