whis·key also whis·ky (wĭs’kē, hwĭs’-)
n. pl. whis·keys also whis·kies 1) An alcoholic liquor distilled from grain, such as corn, rye, or barley, and containing approximately 40 to 50 percent ethyl alcohol by volume. 2) A drink of such liquor.
[Shortening and alteration of USQUEBAUGH(Cf. usquebaugh).]
Word History: The words water, whiskey, and vodka flow from a common source, the Indo-European root *wed-, "water, wet." This root could appear in several guises, as *wed-, *wod-, or *ud-. Water is a native English word that goes back by way of prehistoric Common Germanic *watar to the Indo-European suffixed form *wod-ōr, with an o. Whiskey is a shortened form of usquebaugh, which English borrowed from Irish Gaelic uisce beatha and Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha. This compound descends from Old Irish uisce, "water," and bethad, "of life," meaning literally "water of life." (It thus meant the same thing as the name of another drink, aquavit, which comes from Latin aqua vītae, "water of life.") Uisce comes from the Indo-European suffixed form *ud-skio-. Finally, the name of another alcoholic drink, vodka, comes into English from Russian, where it means literally "little water," as it is a diminutive of voda, "water"—a euphemism if ever there was one. Voda comes from the same Indo-European form as English water, but has a different suffix: *wod-ā.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • whisky — [ wiski ] n. m. • 1770; mot angl., du gaélique usquebauqh « eau de vie » ♦ Eau de vie de grains (seigle, orge, avoine, maïs), fabriquée dans les îles Britanniques et en Amérique du Nord. Whisky écossais (⇒ 1. scotch) , irlandais ( …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Whisky-a-Go-Go —  Pour le roman homonyme de 1947, voir Whisky à gogo. Façade du Whisky A Go Go …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Whisky A Go-Go —  Pour le roman homonyme de 1947, voir Whisky à gogo. Façade du Whisky A Go Go …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Whisky — Whis ky, Whiskey Whis key, n. [Ir. or Gael. uisge water (perhaps akin to E. wash, water) in uisgebeatha whiskey, properly, water of life. Cf. {Usquebaugh}.] An intoxicating liquor distilled from grain, potatoes, etc., especially in Scotland,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whisky — WHISKY, whiskyuri, s.n. Băutură cu un mare procent de alcool obţinută prin distilarea cerealelor în condiţii speciale. [pr.: uíschi] – cuv. engl. Trimis de cata, 19.09.2006. Sursa: DEX 98  WHISKY [pr.: uíski, whiskyuri] n. Băutură alcoolică… …   Dicționar Român

  • Whisky — Sm erw. fach. (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. whisky, dieses aus ne. whiskybae, usquebaugh, aus schott. gäl. uisgebeatha, eigentlich Lebenswasser . Die Form Whiskey ist in Amerika und Irland üblich.    Ebenso nndl. whisky, ne. whisky, nfrz …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Whisky — Whisky, som er den oprindelige stavemåde, kommer fra Skotland. Whiskey er fra Irland, hvor de staver det med ey i enden for at skille sig ud fra Skotland. Bourbon er amerikansk produceret whisky, og det er kun whisky lavet i USA., der må kaldes… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • whisky — whisky, whiskey Whisky is the usual spelling in BrE (especially with reference to Scotch whisky) and Canada, and whiskey is used of the spirit made in Ireland and the USA and is the usual spelling generally in AmE …   Modern English usage

  • Whisky — »aus Getreide (Roggen oder Gerste) oder Mais hergestellter Trinkbranntwein«: Der Name des alkoholischen Getränks wurde im 18. Jh. aus gleichbed. engl. whisky übernommen. Das engl. Wort selbst steht als Kurzform für älter whiskybae (gälisch uisge… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • whisky — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}[wym. łiski] {{/stl 7}}{{stl 8}}rz. ż, ndm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} mocna wódka szkocka (ok. 40–50% alkoholu), pędzona z jęczmienia, żyta lub kukurydzy, uszlachetniana długim leżakowaniem w dębowych beczkach : {{/stl 7}}{{stl… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • Whisky — (engl., spr. Uiski), 1) ein Wagen mit sehr hohem Gestell; 2) ein einspänniges, leichtes Fuhrwerk; 3) ein Branntwein in England, Schottland[150] u. Irland aus Gerste, in Nordamerika meist aus Mais bereitet …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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