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Join Me On A Brannigan & Get Bibesy?

I stumbled onto yet another list of old words, this group on the Matador Network. 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback includes some pretty cool words, like Scriptitation, which I think I engage in every single day. Scriptitation is “[a] 17th-century word meaning ‘continual writing'” But two in particular caught my eye as beer-related.


Noun – “A drinking bout; a spree or ‘binge’” – Brannigan was originally a North American slang word, but it is now rarely used. “Shall we go for a brannigan on Friday?” can be a more sophisticated way to discuss such activities.

I can’t imagine the root of that, unless of course there was some gut named Brannigan who was well-known for binge drinking.


Noun – “A too earnest desire after drink.” – “Bibesy” may have been completely made up in the 18th century and it’s unclear whether it ever made it into common use, but it could easily be used today: “Wedding guests waited anxiously for the bar to open; bibesy should be expected after such a long, dull service.”

Not sure about that one either, but there were a few other gems, too. “Twitter-light,” for example, once meant “a romantic way to refer to the hours as the sun goes down,” but I suspect would have a completely different meaning. Then there’s something I’m often accused of: Perissology. “Perissology” means the “Use of more words than are necessary; redundancy or superfluity of expression.” I completely disagree and will write a short, 10,000-word rebuttal on why it’s not true.

I’m not sure I’d vote for either of these beer words to make a comeback, but it’s always fun to find them.

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