Weekly Word: Tipple

May you tipple your way to a very happy new year! And have a drink for me, because I’m not 21 yet. :( To tipple means “to drink intoxicating liquor, esp. habitually or to some excess.”

As a noun, a tipple is “alcoholic liquor” or “a serving of drink (usually alcoholic) drawn from a keg”. It can also mean “a place where loaded cars are emptied by tipping”.

The Online Etymology Dictionary explains part of the word’s evolution:

  • 1396 - tippler means "seller of alcoholic liquors"
  • 1531 - tipple means "sell alcoholic liquor by retail"
  • 1560 - tipple means "drink (alcoholic beverage) too much"
  • 1580 - tippler means "habitual drinker"

The word tipsy is related to tipple. Apparently a tipsy-cake is a “cake saturated with wine or liquor”. Mmm, intoxicating.