The History of Drinking

There are specific actions and words used when drinking that actually have a meaning, even if we never realized it. When you are taking a shot, I am sure you don’t wonder why you hit the glass on the bar before taking the shot; but there is a reason why you do. There is a reason behind many of the drinking habits and the coined drinking terms.

Booze- We first slurred this word way back in the 1300s. The word first appeared in Middle Dutch…as bûsen, which meant ‘to drink to excess.’ There was also the Old German word bausen, which meant ‘to bulge or billow.’It took 200 years for English speakers to start using it as both a verb (to booze) and a noun (give me some booze). And 200 more years until we started spelling it phonetically.

Clinking glasses together- One would say that clinking was a gesture to prove the safety of the drink. Since clinking can lead to inter-drink splashing, doing so was a way to prove drinks weren’t poisoned (or at least that you trusted your companions). Another theory is based on a mediaeval custom of clinking goblets together in order to frighten the demons out of the spirits (because it sounded like church bells). Going back even further, Ancient Greeks clanked their cups in order to purposefully spill some alcohol, which was an offering to the gods.

Drinking games- In as early as the 5th century BC, Ancient Greeks played a game called Kottabos where players flung the dregs of their wine glass at a target somewhere in the room. Though messy, it was considered to be a demonstration of one’s javelin throwing skills. Winners got prizes, while drunken losers got kicked out. Ancient Chinese drinking games more sophisticated. In one popular literary drinking game, the first person would offer a line of poetry, establishing a pattern or rhyme for the others to follow. The next person had to continue the composition on the spot. Anyone who missed a line had to drink.

Banging shot glasses on the bar before drinking- It’s said that ancient Germanic tribes would bang their cups on the table before drinking in order to knock out the ghosts. However, it’s widely agreed that in modern times, we tap drinks as a salute to the bartender who poured it, and the establishment that provided it.

Shot Glasses- This bar accessory serves two functions: to measure liquor for a cocktail or to consume straight liquor in a quick manner. The first printed use of the term “shot glass” occurred in the 1940s in a news story discussing ways to regulate the size of a shot of liquor in the restaurants and bars of New York City. Before it was called a shot glass, this vessel was referred to as a “jigger” or “pony”. Interestingly, a jigger is a measuring glass of varying volume, while “pony” means a liquid U.S. ounce.

Blacking out- The first of these terms is British slang from the early 1900s and the second is a natural derivative. To “blot” can mean both to soak up a liquid. It can also mean to erase something, which is what happens to your memory when you blackout.

Hangover- Doctors claim that what you feel after a night of serious drinking is not a medical condition. Anyone who has experienced it probably begs to differ. Regardless, the term we use to refer to this godforsaken feeling, “hangover,” has an interesting, and not-alcohol-related origin. According to the Dictionary, the first documented use of hangover (or hang-over) was in 1894, and it meant “a survival, a thing left over from before.” For a long time, the term was associated with stock market crashes; the 1929 crash was often written about as if it were a “hangover” from the wild 1920s.

The next time you are drinking, think about the history behind what you are doing.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Leading up to the big Apple event on September 9, rumors and speculations were buzzing across the Internet about what the new iPhone have in store for the new users. Apple was able to settle the rumors and anticipation Tuesday morning at the Flint Performing Arts Center in Cupertino, California.

Apple announced two new iPhones, which will be released on September 19 with preorders accepted starting on September 12. The two iPhones are the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. According to MacRumors, The two phones have a lot in common, but also have very different features.

The iPhone 6:

  • 4.7 inch display screen
  • 1334 X 750 resolution
  • 6.9 mm thick

The iPhone 6 Plus:

  • 5.5 inch display screen
  • 1920 X 1080 resolution
  • 7.1 mm thick
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Long battery life
  • iPad-style landscape mode

Both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus:

  • Rounded corners
  • Faster processors
  • New Retina HD display
  • Reachability – Users can double tap the Home button to bring items at the top of the screen down to bottom.
  • Camera improvements – Sensor upgrades, improved tone-mapping, better noise reduction, new “Focus Pixel” technology that allows better autofocus

The iPhones will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. These new sizes have gotten rid of the 32GB and replaced it with the larger 128GB capacity. The phones come in gold, silver or space gray and start at $199 or $299 respectively.

Volunteering to End Hunger

Marquette Bank in Orland Park, a locally owned neighborhood bank, recently held its seventh annual neighborhood food drive. There were enough food items and monetary donations collected to provide almost 39,000 meals to families in need.

Collection baskets, which were provided by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, were available at all 22 Marquette Bank locations. Retail branches around the Chicago-land area include locations in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Bridgeview, Chicago, Evergreen Park, Hickory Hills, Lemont, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Romeoville and Summit.

Neighbors, customers, and employees were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to all participating locations. Bank employees and family members who sorted and packed food at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Northern Illinois Food Bank contributed over 100 volunteer hours. Family members and bank employees packed over 14,000 pounds of apples and onions as well as over 16,000 pounds of bread.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Northern Illinois Food Bank or the Greater Chicago Food Depository visit their websites at www.chicagofoodbank.org and www.northernilfoodbank.org.