Wednesday, January 30, 2002

In view of Meir Stampfer's comments in the post below about moderate drinking and good health I thought I'd remind everyone of the origin of the name of that delicious alcoholic Christmas drink, wassail...

In Saxon times the original form of this word was: was hail, (be whole) and was a greeting meaning: "be in good health". In twelfth century, it became a toast, you replied: drink hail, or "drink good health". (Hail = modern "hale" ,Meaning: "health; well-being". It is related to: "hail" which means "salute, greet or welcome".) The toast originated with the Danes; by the twelfth century the Normans thought it to be the most popular sayings of Britain.

The above etymology (and anything else you would ever want to know about wassail) can be found at The Web's Wassail Epicenter

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