from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An alcoholic liquor distilled from grain, such as corn, rye, or barley, and containing approximately 40 to 50 percent ethyl alcohol by volume.
  • n. A drink of such liquor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A liquor distilled from thefermented mash of grain (as rye, corn, or barley).
  • n. A drink of whiskey.
  • n. The letter W in the ICAO spelling alphabet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as whisky, a liquor.
  • n. A light carriage built for rapid motion; -- called also tim-whiskey.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See whisky, whiskified.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a liquor made from fermented mash of grain


Shortening and alteration of usquebaugh.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Irish uisce beatha and Scottish Gaelic uisge-beatha lit. 'water of life' (compare aquavit, from Latin aqua vitae). (Wiktionary)



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  • Oh, god, oro, that's awful and wonderful.

    October 21, 2010

  • She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

    October 21, 2008

  • Reference in c_b's citation is to larger-than-life Irish writer Brendan Behan. And I think he'd roar with laughter at finding that his name first appears here on whiskey.

    October 7, 2008

  • Last night as I slept, I dreamt I met with Behan
    I shook him by the hand and we passed the time of day
    When questioned on his views, on the crux of life's philosophies
    He had for me these clear and simple words to say:

    I am going, I am going
    Any which way the wind may be blowing
    I am going, I am going
    Where streams of whiskey are flowing

    I have cursed, bled and sworn, jumped bail and landed up in jail
    Life has often tried to stretch me but the rope always went slack
    And now that I've a pile, I'll go down to the Chelsea
    I'll walk in on my feet, but I'll leave there on my back.

    Oh the words that he spoke seemed the wisest of philosophies--
    There was nothing ever gained by a wet thing called a tear.
    When the world is too dark and I need the light inside of me,
    I'll walk into a bar...and drink fifteen pints of beer.

    Because I'm going, I am going
    Any which way the wind may be blowing
    I am going, I am going
    Where streams of whiskey are flowing,
    Where streams of whiskey are flowing.
    ("Streams of Whiskey," the Pogues.)

    October 31, 2007

  • from the Irish, uisce beatha, meaning water of life, or aquavit. A related word is the more archaic usquebaugh. The Scots Gaelic term, uisge beatha, is very similar to the Irish.

    February 19, 2007