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15 Brewtastic Ways to Say 'Beer'

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On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which essentially ended Prohibition by allowing the sale and consumption of low-alcohol beer and wine. The act went into effect on April 7, henceforth known as Beer Day. (The night before Beer Day? New Beer's Eve, of course.)

What better way to celebrate Beer Day than by popping a cold one, pouring a pint, or rushing the growler? How about with 15 more brewtastic ways to say "beer" and the stories behind them.

1. BREWSKI

If brewski sounds like frat boy lingo, that’s because it is. It started as North American college slang, possibly as a play off words like Russki, buttinski, and other imitation Russian -ski words. The Oxford English Dictionary’s earliest citation for brewski is from a 1977 Saturday Night Live skit: “Yes, we were extremely upset to find six-packs of brewski in the children's trick-or-treat bags.”

2. SUDS

This U.S. term named for a beer’s sudsy head is from as early as 1904. Suds originally referred to dregs or filth, and then later to the foamy mass formed from soap in a lather, and then any kind of foam or froth.

3. WALLOP

Wallop is British slang that first came about in the early 1930s. Its connection to beer is unclear, although we have a few guesses. It could come from wallop's earlier meaning, the noisy bubbling of water, in reference to beer foam; a heavy clumsy movement, as one might have from too much wallop; or the boxing sense of a heavy blow or whack, which is where the phrase “packs a wallop” comes from, and what a lot of beers might have.

Wallop might also give us codswallop, "nonsense or rubbish." Cod in this sense refers to “testicles.”

4. AND 5. TINNIE AND AMBER NECTAR

Tinnie and amber nectar are both Australian for beer. While tinnie arose in the 1970s to refer to the beer can, amber nectar originated in the 19th century and meant any amber-colored drink. It was in the mid-1980s when Foster’s began using the phrase in its ad campaign that amber nectar was equated with lager beer. Variants include amber fluid and amber liquid.

6. SHERBET

Look at that, another beer name from Oz. Sherbet originally referred to, as the OED puts it, “a cooling drink of the East, made of fruit juice and water sweetened, often cooled with snow." It was first marketed to the west as zerbet. The word might come from Arabic sharba, “to drink.”

7. SLOPS

Slops, which is U.S. and Australian slang, also refers to semi-liquid food, especially that given to pigs. Synonyms include hogwash and pigwash, which can be pig food, cheap liquor, or nonsense.

8. GATTER

Gatter is a British slang term with an unclear origin. All we know is that it first appeared in English around 1818 and is mentioned in what publisher John Camden Hotten called “a curious Slang street melody” titled "Bet, the Coaley's Daughter": “‘Come stow that patter, / If you’re a cove wot likes a gal, / Vy don’t you stand some gatter?”

9. PONGELO

We can thank the Brits for this beer word, too. Referring to “pale ale or a mixture of pale ale and another beer,” the now rarely-used pongelo originated around 1864. The word might come from pong, apparently also slang for beer (maybe from its “stink” meaning), and the fanciful ending -elo. Pongelo and its variants might have started as Anglo-Indian army slang.

10. SMALL BEER

Back in the 15th century, small beer was weak or inferior beer, but by the early 1700s, meant trivial matters or trifles. "To think small beer of" means to have a low opinion of yourself or someone else.

11. INKY-PINKIE

Another term for bad beer, inky-pinkie is Scots and now only remembered, according to the Dictionary of the Scots Language, in versions of a play called Galatians or Galoshins, which was performed from house to house on Hogmanay, New Year’s Eve in Scotland.

12. PENNY-WHIP

A now rare dialectical in Scotland, northern Ireland, and northern England, penny-whip was a weak beer that was sold for a penny a bottle. The first appearance in English of penny-whip might be from Scottish poet Robert Burns's poem "The Holy Fair": “Be 't whisky-gill or penny-wheep, / Or ony stronger potion.”

13. PRITCH

Yet another word for substandard brew, pritch might have first referred to soured beer. Pricked wine or beer is that which has turned sour or vinegary.

14. SHENKBEER

In the 19th century U.S., you might have used this German loan word to refer to bland beer. The original German is schenkbier, or draft beer, and is referred to as such because it needed to be put on draft and be immediately consumed, or else risk souring.

15. SWIPES

Swipes is a 19th-century word that refers to weak beer or beer in general. Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens both used it, the former in a letter—“I am bringing down with me a tankard for swipes”—and the latter in Oliver Twist: “It's been as dull as swipes.”

While it’s not clear where the word swipes comes from, the feeble beer meaning seems to have given rise to swipe meaning to drink in one gulp.

Additional references: A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English; Americanisms: The English of the New World.

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Win a Trip to Any National Park By Instagramming Your Travels
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If you're planning out your summer vacation, make sure to add a few national parks to your itinerary. Every time you share your travels on Instagram, you can increase your chances of winning a VIP trip for two to the national park of your choice.

The National Park Foundation is hosting its "Pic Your Park" sweepstakes now through September 28. To participate, post your selfies from visits to National Park System (NPS) properties on Instagram using the hashtag #PicYourParkContest and a geotag of the location. Making the trek to multiple parks increases your points, with less-visited parks in the system having the highest value. During certain months, the point values of some sites are doubled. You can find a list of participating properties and a schedule of boost periods here.

Following the contest run, the National Park Foundation will decide a winner based on most points earned. The grand prize is a three-day, two-night trip for the winner and a guest to any NPS property within the contiguous U.S. Round-trip airfare and hotel lodging are included. The reward also comes with a 30-day lease of a car from Subaru, the contest's sponsor.

The contest is already underway, with a leader board on the website keeping track of the competition. If you're looking to catch up, this national parks road trip route isn't a bad place to start.

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15 Dad Facts for Father's Day
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Gather 'round the grill and toast Dad for Father's Day—the national holiday so awesome that Americans have celebrated it for more than a century. Here are 15 Dad facts you can wow him with today.

1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain in 1912 as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a contaminated public water supply in 1896.

2. George Washington, the celebrated father of our country, had no children of his own. A 2004 study suggested that a type of tuberculosis that Washington contracted in childhood may have rendered him sterile. He did adopt the two children from Martha Custis's first marriage.

3. In Thailand, the king's birthday also serves as National Father's Day. The celebration includes fireworks, speeches, and acts of charity and honor—the most distinct being the donation of blood and the liberation of captive animals.

4. In 1950, after a Washington Post music critic gave Harry Truman's daughter Margaret's concert a negative review, the president came out swinging: "Some day I hope to meet you," he wrote. "When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"

5. A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin. Pooh was based on Robin's teddy bear, Edward, a gift Christopher had received for his first birthday, and on their father/son visits to the London Zoo, where the bear named Winnie was Christopher's favorite. Pooh comes from the name of Christopher's pet swan.

6. Kurt Vonnegut was (for a short time) Geraldo Rivera's father-in-law. Rivera's marriage to Edith Vonnegut ended in 1974 because of his womanizing. Her ever-protective father was quoted as saying, "If I see Gerry again, I'll spit in his face." He also included an unflattering character named Jerry Rivers (a chauffeur) in a few of his books.

7. Andre Agassi's father represented Iran in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics as a boxer.

8. Charlemagne, the 8th-century king of the Franks, united much of Western Europe through military campaigns and has been called the "king and father of Europe" [PDF]. Charlemagne was also a devoted dad to about 18 children, and today, most Europeans may be able to claim Charlemagne as their ancestor.

9. The voice of Papa Smurf, Don Messick, also provided the voice of Scooby-Doo, Ranger Smith on Yogi Bear, and Astro and RUDI on The Jetsons.

10. In 2001, Yuri Usachev, cosmonaut and commander of the International Space Station, received a talking picture frame from his 12-year-old daughter while in orbit. The gift was made possible by RadioShack, which filmed the presentation of the gift for a TV commercial.

11. The only father-daughter collaboration to hit the top spot on the Billboard pop music chart was the 1967 hit single "Something Stupid" by Frank & Nancy Sinatra.

12. In the underwater world of the seahorse, it's the male that gets to carry the eggs and birth the babies.

13. If show creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz had gotten his way, Gene Hackman would have portrayed the role of father Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch.

14. The Stevie Wonder song "Isn't She Lovely" is about his newborn daughter, Aisha. If you listen closely, you can hear Aisha crying during the song.

15. Dick Hoyt has pushed and pulled his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, through hundreds of marathons and triathlons. Rick cannot speak, but using a custom-designed computer he has been able to communicate. They ran their first five-mile race together when Rick was in high school. When they were done, Rick sent his father this message: "Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"

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