Word of the Week (195): POKAL (probability 9183), by David Sutton

Following last week's tour of drinking vessels from the classical world, let's look at a few from other cultures. A POKAL was a tall drinking cup used in Germany. German also gives us the HUMPEN, a type of enamelled or painted glass drinking vessel.

A QUAICH (plural QUAICHS or QUAICHES) is a Gaelic drinking cup; this has a variant QUAIGH with plural QUAIGHS. Scotland also gives us the KELTIE or KELTY, a large bumper or drinking glass that was often filled to the brim to be drunk as a forfeit.

The more abstemious French give us the TASTEVIN, a small cup used for tasting wine.

A ROEMER or RUMMER is a large Dutch drinking glass. A BOTA is a Spanish leather flask for wine, possibly like the COSTREL, an eared flask hung at the waist in mediaeval times. (Not to be confused with a COISTREL, COISTRIL, COYSTREL, COYSTRIL or CUSTREL, an inferior groom or lad employed by an esquire to carry the knight's arms and other necessaries). Still in mediaeval times, the HANAP was an ornate mediaeval drinking goblet, often being kept in a case known as a HANAPER, and a MAZER was a large drinking vessel of hardwood or metal.

A RUMKIN was another small can or drinking vessel. A FIASCO with plural FIASCOS or FIASCOES means a farce or debacle, as when you lose all seven games in a one-day tournament, but it can also mean a flask, in which case it takes the plural FIASCHI. A FLACKET is a barrel-shaped bottle or flagon.

And of course let us not forget that useful three, the TYG, an old drinking cup with two or more handles. This can also be spelt TIG, but of course TIG is more usefully remembered in its verbal sense, to touch in the game of tig.


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