Taverns etc

Yesterday, after a rather cold day on a surveillance tasking and then attending the SCI tenants Christmas drinks we went for a ‘bevvy’ in the Star Tavern just behind our office. Dave commented that he thought the word ‘tavern’ was a great word and asked me if I knew the origins of the word. Like many words in the English language, tavern originates from Latin in this case the word taberna, meaning shed, workshop, stall or inn. It also has links to the Middle English taverne, and Old French taverne (wine shop).

This sparked my interest in words associated with hostelries and alcohol – a selected few:

  • Beer: from the old English word beor
  • Brewing: breaw, another old English word, which from an etymology sense means to burn, boil and bubble a liquid for drinking
  • Whiskey: from the Gaelic word, uisge beatha, which literally translates as ‘water of life’ ?
  • Intoxicate: from the Latin word intoxictus, meaning ‘to poison’
  • Gin: a shortened form of the older English word genever, related to the French word genièvre and the Dutch word jenever. All ultimately derive from juniperus, Latin for juniper
  • Rum: this one is a little unclear, but possibly derived from the word, rumbullion, meaning ‘a ‘great tumult or uproar’
  • Booze: from the medieval Dutch verb, būsen, which means ‘to drink to excess’
  • Hostelry: from Old French hostelerie, meaning ‘innkeeper’
  • Lager: from the German word Lagerbier which means ‘beer brewed for keeping’
  • Wine: from the Old English word, win (pronounced ‘wean’). The Old English form was descended from the Latin, vinum, or as the Romans wrote it, ‘VINVM.’ Vinum in Latin seems to be related to the Latin word for vineyard, ‘vinea
  • Bevvy: short for beverage, a drink, especially an alcoholic one, ‘we had a few bevvies last night.’ For many in Glasgow having a bevvy is a normal thing to do at the weekend, it is pronounced as bev-ee meaning alcoholic drink

Have a great weekend (enjoy the football), maybe have a ‘bevvy’ or two, but try to avoid ‘būsen’?

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