Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


While beer brings gladness, don't forget That water only makes you wet!

Put a halter round her neck, and sell her for a pot of beer.

And so to-night I am going to spend them, not prudently on bread, but prodigally on beer.

"If you will warrant the beer, I will warrant the throat," said John composedly.

Over his schooner of beer K. gathered something of the story.

When he found that the ice was out and the beer warm and flat, he was furious.

He said that he occasionally dropped into a saloon to take a glass of beer.

There is no question that the indulgence in beer is merely an acquired habit.

The barrel of beer is in the corner but it is sacred as the honour of the regiment!

At last the carpenters, who have been out for beer, return and drop the curtain.


Old English beor "strong drink, beer, mead," a word of much-disputed and ambiguous origin, cognate with Old Frisian biar, Middle Dutch and Dutch bier, Old High German bior, German Bier.

Probably a 6c. West Germanic monastic borrowing of Vulgar Latin biber "a drink, beverage" (from Latin infinitive bibere "to drink;" see imbibe). Another suggestion is that it comes from Proto-Germanic *beuwoz-, from *beuwo- "barley." The native Germanic word for the beverage was the one that yielded ale (q.v.).

They did have words for it, however. Greek brytos, used in reference to Thracian or Phrygian brews, was related to Old English breowan "brew;" Latin zythum is from Greek zythos, first used of Egyptian beer and treated as an Egyptian word but perhaps truly Greek and related to zyme "leaven." French bière is from Germanic. Spanish cerveza is from Latin cervesia "beer," perhaps related to Latin cremor "thick broth."

Old Church Slavonic pivo, source of the general Slavic word for "beer," is originally "a drink" (cf. Old Church Slavonic piti "drink"). French bière is a 16c. borrowing from German. U.S. slang beer goggles, through which every potential romantic partner looks desirable, is from 1986.



nounintoxicating, fermented beverage
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.