Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art


Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.


Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:06 pm

• aperitif •

Pronunciation: ah-per-ê-teef, ah-per-ê-teef Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

Notes: Today's Good Word comes with a fraternal twin, digestif "digestive, an after dinner drink that helps digestion". I decided that since English already uses digestive in the same sense, today's contributor wouldn't mind my switching that word, which he actually suggested, for today's. Most mixed drinks pass for aperitifs in the US, but the likes of Campari, Dubonnet, Lillet, and Vermouth are preferred where the word originates: France.

In Play: Digestifs (digestives) are usually drunk after dinner. The most popular of these are port, sherry, brandy, cognac, Armagnac, or single-malt scotch. Remember to husband the aperitifs before your dinners: "We were served so many strong aperitifs before dinner that not only did they fail to stimulate appetites, they put most of the dinner guests to sleep."

Word History: Today's Good Word came from Old French aperitif "purgative" from Late Latin apertivus. This word was an adjective sometimes used as a noun based on Latin apertus "opened", the past participle of aperire "to open". The Latin verb for "to open, uncover" was a compound in Proto-Indo-European made up of ap(o) "away, un-" + wer- "cover". The head of this compound, wer- emerged in English almost unchanged as weir "dam, fish trap". It also arrived in English as warrant, a word borrowed by French. Now, French didn't have a W at the time, so they used the next best thing in French—GU, pronounced [gw] at the time. The result, guarant, was next borrowed back by English as guaranty and guarantee when French GU was pronounced [g]. (I must beg Iain Smallwood's mercy for changing the word he suggested, digestif, for reasons laid out above, even as I thank him heartily for setting me in the right direction.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 3925
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby MTC » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:28 am

Aperitifs and digestifs--gastronomic bookends.
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1073
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena


Postby call_copse » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:54 pm

Rare is the meal where I indulge in either these days, let alone both, nice on occasion though.

Good treatment though and I certainly don't mind the switch, especially as my name is writ right now.
User avatar
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton


Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:43 pm

I don't imbibe in either of them either.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water


Postby damoge » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:05 pm

says "aperitif" was "purgative"-- does that mean they emptied out before filling up?
Everything works out, one way or another
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: End of the Earth

Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests