FUN BEER FACTS FOR SAINT PATTY'S DAY
Current mood: cheerful
About 4000 years ago, it was the accepted practice in Babylonia that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calender was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know to day as the "Honey moon"
Before invention of the thermometer, brewers used to check the temperature by dipping their thumb, to find whether appropriate for adding Yeast. Too hot, the yeast would die. This is where we get the phrase " The Rule of the Thumb"
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender used to yell at themto mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. From where we get "mind your own P's and Q's".
After consuming a vibrant brew called Aul or Ale, the Vikings would go fearlessly to the battlefield, without their armour, or even their shirts. The "Berserk" means "bear shirt" in norse, and eventually to the meaning of wild battles.
Way down in 1740, the Admiral Veron of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum, which naturally, the sailors weren't pleased with. They nicknamed the Admiral Old Grog, after the still stiff grogram coats he used to wear. The term grog soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you are drunk on this this grog, you are "groggy", a word still in use.
Long ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim of their beer mugs or ceremic/glass cups. The whistle was used to order services. Thus we get the phrase, "wet your whistle".
The phrase "Rule of Thumb" might come from the English Common Law which deemed it a man's right to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than the diameter of his thumb... or its use as a carpenter's measure (kind of like "foot") Here's a whole discussion about these and the Wiki on Rule of Thumb goes over all the popular theories on its origin.
Ps and Qs is also an interesting one. I think it's likely that it originated from the Celtic languages: P-Celtic and Q-Celtic [LINK 1][LINK 2][Wiki Celtic languages ].
To quote from this page:
The Godelic languages are often referred to as "Q-Celtic" because they use a "Q" sound, usually represented by a C or K, where the Brythonic or "P-Celtic" languages use P. For instance, Irish and Scottish Gaelic for "head" is ceann, or sometimes kin. Brythonic langauges, P-Celtic Welsh and Cornish, use pen. There's a place on the coast of Cornwall called Pentire, and one on the coast of Scotland called Kintyre. Both mean "head of the land." There are hundreds of similar P and C initial words that indicate the relationship between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic languages. In Celtic linguistics, it really pays to "mind your Ps and Qs."
..or... it could be "Pints and Quarts". At any rate, St. Patrick's Day is hardly noticeable in this town, as it happens during SXSW, so the town will have already been in full maxed-out party mode for at least a week previous. I am sure we are going to hear some fine Irish-style music that day, along with a lot more.
...and I'll have another Guinness.