Have you ever ever wondered where some words and phrases come from? Here are a few we can finally stop wondering about…
Booze – A combination of the Middle English (c.1300) verb “bouse”, meaning to drink heavily, AND the name of a famous Philadelphia distiller named E.G. Booze. Ben Franklin published a book of synonyms in 1722 and used the word “boozy” as a synonym for “drunk”.
Three sheets to the wind – was originally used to describe a drunk person in 1812 to describe the image of a sloop-rigged sailboat whose three “sheets” or sails had slipped through their blocks and were thus lost to the wind, and “out of control”.
Hammered – originally meant to be “heavily defeated”, and became officially recognized in 1986 as meaning drunk.
Dashboard – the original dashboard was a board in the front of wagons and carriages to stop mud from horses hooves from splashed into the vehicle.
Limousine – comes from the name of the Limousin region in France, where the chief city is Limoge. Apparently, the people of that region traditionally wore a hood that was similar to the hood, or profile of early luxury cars.
Chauffeur – another word with French origins meaning the “stoker” or operator of the steam engine (chaud, meaning “hot”, thus “chauffer” meaning “to heat”, from the Old French verb “chaufer” –“ to heat”.
Enough drinking and driving slang – Why are we buried in a…
Coffin – early 14th C. for a place to store valuables, taken from the Old French “coffin” meaning “sarcophagus”.
Dead as a doornail – meant “insensible” in the 1300’s, and by the 1500’s meant “inactive and dull”.
Dead man’s hand – in poker comes from the pair of aces and pair of eights that Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in 1876.
Back to drinkin…
Dead Drunk – was first used in the 1590’s, and in a “dead soldier” became an empty bottle of liquor in 1913.
Thank you to the television show – “American Slang”, and to the web-site “Online Etymology”
If you ever want to grow a braincell back after all of that drinking…
Check out Paul’s Pick of the week: “Online Etymology”
And a final thought…
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach