The Ancient Roots of Booze and Language

When archaeologists discovered the oldest winery yet -8,000 years old- in Georgia (the country, not the state), linguists weren't the least bit surprised. They had already traced the modern word "wine" back to the region and the era by reverse-engineering it, since it occurs in various forms in so many other languages, in a way that might remind you of prehistoric genetic research. Linguists are a clever bunch. But they believe mead, or honey wine, is even older for the same reasons. Some of our terms for alcoholic beverages are indeed ancient, while the origins of others are just a matter of deciphering the historical record. When our anicent ancestors invented language, and later figured out how to write things down, they wrote a lot about alcohol. Humans have always cherished their booze. PBS's Otherwords gives us a quick lesson in how alcoholic drinks got their names. I'll drink to that! -via Laughing Squid

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