Word of the Week (172): SKEECHAN (probability 26094), by David Sutton

SKEECHAN is a kind of beer made by mixing malt liquor with treacle, presumably on the grounds that there is nothing you can do to the foul-tasting stuff that isn't going to improve it. The word is of Gaelic origin. I don't know whether it resembles the Canadian CALABOGUS, which is made by mixing spruce beer, rum and molasses, and I don't intend to find out.

Other words for kinds of beer include STINGO, a strong Yorkshire beer, ZYTHUM, a malt beer made by the ancient Egyptians, HOMEBREW, which is homemade beer, and TAPLASH, which is poor or weak alcohol, especially stale beer from the dregs of a cask. Then of course there is SHANDY, a mixture of beer and lemonade - what a shame to spoil good lemonade - and for the more daring SHANDYGAFF, a mixture of strong beer and ginger beer. General words for beer include CERVEZA, which is simply the Spanish word, COLDIE, a drink of cold beer, and BREWSKI (plural BREWSKIS or BREWSKIES).

Containers to put the wretched stuff in - you may be detecting a certain prejudice here on my part - include SEIDEL, a large glass, MIDDIE, a glass containing 285 millilitres, STUBBIE (or STUBBY), Australian slang for a small squat beer bottle, TINNIE (or TINNY), a can of beer, and LONGNECK, a kind of beer bottle with a long narrow neck.

You may now wish to get ALEWASHED, a Shakespearean word which Chambers somewhat primly defines as 'affected by drinking beer'. I leave you to it.


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