Monday, March 06, 2006
Joe N. at ¡No Pasaran! put up a post on the Bloody Borders Project. Noting how long it had taken us, he suggested we take a break. This was the link he sent us to, and what a nice surprise! A chance to relax, buy Danish, and ramble on about the etymology of the word Aquavit (it seems to be Akvavit in Denmark). If we natter on long enough, you won’t notice how fast the level in the bottle in dropping.
Here’s the etymology of the word, which will end us up in Gaelic, as well it should.
Of course everyone knows that “aqua” and “vit” are Latin for “water of life.” But did you know that “uisge” (Scots-Gaelic) which Old English formed to make “usque” are also cognate with water? Or that “beatha” (Scots-Gaelic) or “baugh”(Old English borrowing) were cognate with “vita”?
So we go from aquavit to uisgebeatha to usquebaugh to…ta da: whiskey. It helps if you’re an etymologist to be slightly squiffed when making these connections.
Oh, and by the way, you know “vodka”? That’s just a diminutive for water: “little water” is the favorite Russian drink.
In other words, when it comes to booze, it’s all essentially the same word.
If you follow Joe’s link you will arrive at a page full of Danish goodies. At least if you haven’t given up alcohol for Lent…which I haven’t, but some of us have.
Posted by Dymphna at 3/06/2006 12:11:00 AM