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Clifford Whittingham
[hwit-ing-uh m,, wit-] /ˈʰwɪt ɪŋ əm,, ˈwɪt-/ (Show IPA), 1876–1943, U.S. pioneer in mental hygiene.
an alcoholic beverage made by brewing and fermentation from cereals, usually malted barley, and flavored with hops and the like for a slightly bitter taste.
any of various beverages, whether alcoholic or not, made from roots, molasses or sugar, yeast, etc.:
root beer; ginger beer.
an individual serving of beer; a glass, can, or bottle of beer:
We’ll have three beers.
Contemporary Examples

The two were seen at a nearby bar, where he purchased two Beers.
Alleged U.Va. Abductor Accused of Rape at Christian College Michael Daly September 27, 2014

Since I was paying three thousand for the Beers, I worked out that sixty thousand must have been about US$20.
My Parents’ Brothel Douglas Rogers December 5, 2009

I went back home to bed in the morning, green in the face after what seemed like 20 joints and 700 Beers.
Did Punk Rock Tear Down the Wall? Tim Mohr November 7, 2009

If they were not working, they would be sitting on a bench and easily down three to four Beers an hour.
Why Everyone Should Copy Amsterdam’s Beer-for-Work Scheme Nadette De Visser January 11, 2014

Enjoy its wide selection of Beers to kick off a night of fun.
A Local’s Guide to D.C. During the Holidays William O’Connor December 17, 2013

Historical Examples

The per-centage in English Beers of malt extract (dextrin and sugar glucose) is least in bitter, and highest in the sweet ales.
Cooley’s Cyclopdia of Practical Receipts and Collateral Information in the Arts, Manufactures, Professions, and Trades…, Sixth Edition, Volume I Arnold Cooley

“Step up for your Beers, gentlemen,” cried the bartender at this moment.
The Copper Princess Kirk Munroe

So Beers became wildly jealous and indignant, and left her for good.
Danger! A True History of a Great City’s Wiles and Temptations William Howe

The Beers were a gifted family, running out in different directions.
Historic Oddities Sabine Baring-Gould

I drop a glass I’m so surprised, but I give him two Beers like he wants.
Probability Louis Trimble

an alcoholic drink brewed from malt, sugar, hops, and water and fermented with yeast Compare ale
a slightly fermented drink made from the roots or leaves of certain plants: ginger beer, nettle beer
(modifier) relating to or used in the drinking of beer: beer glass, beer mat
(modifier) in which beer is drunk, esp (of licensed premises) having a licence to sell beer: beer house, beer cellar, beer garden

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.).

Beer was a common drink among most of the European peoples, as well as in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but was known to the Greeks and Romans only as an exotic product. [Buck]

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.

Related Terms

cry in one’s beer, drink one’s beer, sling beer, small potatoes

well. (1.) A place where a well was dug by the direction of Moses, at the forty-fourth station of the Hebrews in their wanderings (Num. 21:16-18) in the wilderness of Moab. (See WELL.) (2.) A town in the tribe of Judah to which Jotham fled for fear of Abimelech (Judg. 9:21). Some have identified this place with Beeroth.


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