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24 January 2011 @ 10:50 pm
The Best Word of the Day EVER - Whisk(e)y!  
 
whisky | whiskey, n.1
Pronunciation:/ˈhwɪskɪ/
Forms:Also 17 -kie, -kee.
Etymology:Short for whiskybae, etc. (Gaelic uisgebeatha lit. ‘water of life’), though this is not actually evidenced so early (but Ramsay has usque for usquebaugh n., q.v., in 1728). In modern trade usage, Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey are thus distinguished in spelling; whisky is the usual spelling in Britain and whiskey that in the U.S.
  A spirituous liquor distilled originally in Ireland and Scotland, and in the British Isles still chiefly, from malted barley (with or without unmalted barley or other cereals), in U.S. chiefly from maize or rye. With a and pl., a drink of whisky.
Also in whisky-and-milk, whisky-and-soda, whisky-and-water (often so hyphened), denoting mixed or diluted drinks.
1715 in Maidment Bk. Scot. Pasquils (1868) 404Whiskie shall put our brains in rage.
1746 M. Hughes Plain Narr. Late Rebellion 46A double Portion of Oatmeal and Whisky. note, Whisky is a hot Malt Spirit.
1753 Gray's Inn Jrnl. No. 48,Whiskee—Po!—Give me a Glass of that Rhenish.
1753 Gentleman's Mag. Aug. 391/2In one dram shop only in this town [sc. Dublin], there are 120 gallons of that accursed spirit, whiskey, sold.
1827 Whitehall ii. iii,The Major then mixed himself a glass of whiskey and water in equal portions.
1836 Dickens Sketches by Boz 2nd Ser. 247He‥went home‥for his whiskey and water.
1884 G. Moore Mummer's Wife xvi,‘I think I'll have a whisky.’ ‘Scotch or Irish?’ asked the barman.
1894 K. Grahame Pagan Papers 76Those of us who were left being assembled to drink a parting whisky-and-milk.
1898 G. B. Shaw Mrs. Warren's Profession ii. 177,I could do with a whisky and soda now very well.
1903 Times 31 July 13/6In less than an hour he sold 22 whiskies.
1924 H. Crane Let. 30 Nov. (1965) 195As whiskey and soda was served I quickly revived.
1979 G. St. Aubyn Edward VII vii. 316Offering him a whisky-and-soda and a cigar.
Compounds
 C1. General attrib. a.
 whisky bottle n.
1843 ‘R. Carlton’ New Purchase II. lvi. 242He abstained‥from his *whiskey bottle.
1981 M. Hatfield Spy Fever i. vi. 53The whisky bottle was still in play, though its contents‥had not shrunk catastrophically.
 whisky-can n.
1845 E. Cook Fisher Boat in Poems 12Jolly mates, a *whiskey-can, and trusty nets for me!
 whisky-cocktail n.
1862 J. Thomas How to mix Drinks Contents,*Whiskey Cobbler, Cocktail.
 whisky decanter n.
1931 M. Allingham Police at Funeral xi. 151He‥shot a hopeless glance at the *whisky decanter.
1976 E. Ward Hanged Man xxi. 129Galbraith placed the whisky decanter within reach.
 whisky-drinker n.
1771 J. Wesley Jrnl. 18 June (1827) III. 424The house‥was filled with *whisky drinkers.
1905 H. D. Rolleston Dis. Liver 178Hobnailed, Gin, or Whiskey-drinker's liver.
 whisky-drinking n. and adj.
1883 ‘M. Twain’ Life on Mississippi lviii. 571*Whiskey-drinking, breakdown-dancing rapscallions.
1884 ‘M. Twain’ Adventures Huckleberry Finn xxi. 184There was considerable whiskey drinking going on.
1891 C. Roberts Adrift in Amer. 34The row was the outcome of whiskey drinking.
 whisky-gill n.
1786 R. Burns Holy Fair xix, in Poems 50Be't *whisky-gill or penny-wheep, Or ony stronger potion.
 whisky glass n.
1940 R. Chandler Farewell, my Lovely xiii. 82She wore a hat with a crown the size of a *whisky glass.
 whisky-punch n.
1786 R. Burns Poems 27A glass o' *Whisky-punch.
1850 Thackeray Pendennis II. iv. 36His‥utterance began to fail him, over his sixth tumbler of whiskey-punch.
 whisky-shop n.
1804 M. Lewis Jrnl. in Jrnls. Lewis & Clark Exped. (1986) II. 179Such as have made hunting‥a pretext to cover their design of visiting a neighbouring *whiskey shop.
1868 A. K. H. Boyd Lessons Middle Age 29The sight of a whisky-shop or a gin-palace is to such an overwhelming temptation.
 whisky-still n.
1786 R. Burns Poems 28Thae curst horse-leeches o' th' Excise, Wha mak the *Whisky Stells their prize!
 whisky-toddy n.
1812 P. Hawker Diary (1893) I. 59,I sat down with some *whisky toddy.
 b.
 whisky-gold adj.
1918 E. Sitwell Clowns' Houses 15The sunlight pours all *whisky-gold.
 whisky-soaked adj.
a1910 ‘M. Twain’ Autobiogr. (1924) I. 209Some old *whisky-soaked, profane‥infidel of a tramp captain.
1978 R. Ludlum Holcroft Covenant xiii. 153Ellis made arrangements for the whiskey-soaked clothes to be picked up by the cleaners and returned by mid afternoon.
 whisky-sodden adj.
1883 ‘M. Twain’ Life on Mississippi lvi. 548A harmless *whiskey-sodden tramp.
1891 E. Kinglake Austral. at Home 102You whisky-sodden old miscreant.
 C2.
 whisky-brose n. see brose n.b.
1822 A. Cunningham Trad. Tales I. 307*Whiskey-brose shall be my breakfast, and my supper shall be the untaken-down spirit.
 whisky-head n. U.S. slang one who consumes a great deal of whisky.
1944 S. Bellow Dangling Man 179‘Took you in it at last, didn't I!’ I exclaimed. ‘You damned old *whisky-head.’
1968 P. Oliver Screening Blues 23Blues about liquor and the ‘whisky-head man’, about prostitution, gambling, vagrancy and intended violence, figure in the work of singers of all generations.
 whisky-house n. Obs. a place where whisky is sold.
1767 Scots Mag. Apr. 222Grant kept a *whisky-house.
1835 R. M. Bird Hawks of Hawk-hollow II. 6You would have some of the wherewithall smuggled up to this identical old woman's whiskey-house!
 whisky insurrection n. U.S. Hist. an outbreak in Pennsylvania in 1794 against an excise duty on spirits imposed by Congress in 1791.
1824 Mass. Spy 28 July in R. H. Thornton Amer. Gloss. (1912),Tinctured with the duelling or *whiskey-insurrection mania.
 whisky mac n. (also Whisky Mac) whisky and ginger wine mixed in equal proportions; a drink of this.
1960 Spectator 14 Oct. 579It [sc. Stone's Ginger Wine] is a little cloying taken neat, but mixed with an equal quantity of whisky it becomes ‘*Whisky Mac’.
1961 L. Payne Nose on my Face iv. 63,I‥said I'd have a whiskey mac.
1976 Liverpool Echo 22 Nov. 7/5A thief stole a £45 cask of whisky mac from an off-licence in Pasture Road, Moreton.
1982 A. Barr & P. York Official Sloane Ranger Handbk. 92/2You drink beer, whisky macs, cherry brandy, sloe gin—or neat whisky.
 whisky money n. Hist. the proportion of the beer and spirit duty which was allocated to technical education by the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act of 1890.
1911 Encycl. Brit. XXVI. 495/1If the ‘*whisky’ money‥were found to be well and carefully expended, no future Chancellor would be able to divert it to any other purpose.
1937 G. A. N. Lowndes Silent Social Revol. ii. 39Action taken by the Technical Education Committees of the County Councils‥to encourage the formation of classes and guarantee them financial support out of the ‘Whiskey Money’.
1973 L. Holcombe Victorian Ladies at Work ii. 30A portion of the ‘whisky money’, the proceeds from the increased duties on beer and spirits, to be spent on technical education by the county and county borough councils.
 whisky-peg n. see peg n.112.
1889 A. Conan Doyle Sign of Four xii,There he sat‥drinking *whisky-pegs and smoking cheroots.
 whisky-poker n. (see quot.).
1878 J. S. Campion On Frontier (ed. 2) 25*Whisky-poker, a harmless non-gambling game, in which the winner gets a drink and the losers a smell at the cork of the bottle.
 whisky priest n. an habitually drunken priest.
1939 G. Greene Lawless Roads vi. 161‘He was just what we call a *whisky priest.’‥ He had taken one of his sons to be baptized, but the priest was drunk.
1971 H. C. Rae Marksman i. iii. 19With cheap striped pyjamas buttoned close around his throat Doyle looked like a whisky priest in a penal settlement.
1977 Times 4 Aug. 10/5The communist equivalent of one of those Greeneland fables wherein a whisky priest rallies‥to strike a blow for the God he no longer believes in.
 whisky rebellion n. U.S. Hist. an outbreak in Pennsylvania in 1794 against an excise duty on spirits imposed by Congress in 1791.
1863 in Thornton Amer. Gloss. (at cited word),The *whisky rebellion of Pennsylvania.
 whisky ring n. U.S. Hist. a combination of distillers and revenue officers formed in 1872 to defraud the government of part of the tax on spirits.
1884 Boston (Mass.) Jrnl. 25 Sept.,The candidate of the *whisky ring.
 whisky-skin n. U.S. slang a drink containing whisky.
1856 Yale Literary Mag. 21 146Nine *whiskey skins, and our spirits rushed together.
1891 Sunday Times 22 Feb. 2/3,I heard of the contemplated establishment of a London American club, the scheme of which seemed to comprise unlimited cocktails, whiskey skins, corpse revivers, [etc.].
 whisky-soda n. whisky-and-soda. (not in U.K. use).
1915 H. L. Wilson Ruggles of Red Gap 50Here, Charley, *veesky-soda!
1975 O. Sela Bengali Inheritance xxv. 220Shaking heads over their whisky-sodas saying, what could you expect.
 whisky sour n. orig. U.S. a drink of whisky acidulated with the juice of citrus fruit.
1889 Cent. Dict.,*Whisky sour.
1904 R. M. Lovett Richard Gresham 186Bring a couple o' whiskey sours there, barkeep.
1975 D. Lodge Changing Places iii. 116The lavish whisky-sours and daiquiris being prepared by the host.
1980 L. Birnbach et al. Official Preppy Handbk. 102/2Tailgate picnics, whiskey sours in the stadium, and the general complexity of the sport guarantee that nobody knows what is going on.
 whisky-straight n. U.S. slang whisky without water.
1864 Congressional Globe 21 Apr. 1876/2From the impassioned tone of the gentleman from Illinois‥one would suppose that he had been investing in *whisky straight.
1869 ‘M. Twain’ Innocents Abroad xv. 148We will take a whisky-straight.
 whisky voice n. a hoarse or alcoholic voice.
1964 J. C. Catford in D. Abercombie et al. Daniel Jones 32Simultaneous whisper + voice + creak: one form of ‘beery’ or ‘*whisky’ voice.
1978 J. Updike Coup (1979) vii. 294The women in the souk, with those long red finger-nails and blue hair in bandanas and those cracked whiskey voices.
 whisky-water n. = whisky-and-water at water n.3b.
1919 ‘Etienne’ Strange Tales from Fleet 5‘Thank you,’ said the Captain, ‘a *whisky water, please.’
1978 T. Willis Buckingham Palace Connection i. 7The ice-machine had broken down and I had to put up with a tepid whisky-water.
Derivatives
 
 whisky v. (trans.) to supply with whisky, to give a drink of whisky to.
1830 G. Colman Random Rec. II. v. 139Post-boys and waggoners water'd their horses, and whisky'd themselves.
1862 B. Taylor At Home & Abroad 2nd Ser. 120The horses were changed, and the passengers whiskied.
1882 J. A. Lees & W. J. Clutterbuck Three in Norway ix. (1888) 65We ‘whisky’ every one who turns up at camp.
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Doug Hulick / Simon Morcarswords_and_pens on January 25th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
Excellent timing. I just had me a wee dram of the Irish before reading this. :)
zandoriazandoria on January 25th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
We don't have whiskey in Canada.

We call it Rye.

(Canadian Rye Whiskey. Grain content not important)
Uncle Mikeybelmikey on January 25th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
One thing I'm not seeing there is the distinction of spelling.

"Whisky" always means scotch, and only scotch. Not necessarily single malt, mind you, but only double-or-triple-pot-distilled malted barley spirit made in Scotland.

"Whiskey" is everything else.
eithni: bookseithni on January 26th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
They addressed it, sort of, at the top, calling whisky the "British" spelling. :P