daylight (n.)

c. 1300 (as two words from mid-12c., daies liht), "the light of day," from day + light (n.); its figurative sense of "clearly visible open space between two things" (1820) has been used in references to boats in a race, U.S. football running backs avoiding opposing tackles, a rider and a saddle, and the rim of a glass and the surface of the liquor. The (living) daylights that you beat or scare out of someone were originally slang for "the eyes" (1752), extended figuratively to the vital senses. Daylight-saving is attested by 1908.

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abstain (v.)
Origin and meaning of abstain

late 14c., "avoid (something); refrain (oneself) from; keep free from sin or vice; live austerely, practice abstinence or asceticism; be sexually continent," from Old French abstiner, abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (oneself) back, refrain voluntarily, abstain (from what satisfies the passions), practice abstinence," from Latin abstinere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). Specifically of liquor from late 14c. Meaning "refrain from voting" is from 1796. Related: Abstained; abstaining.

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spike (v.)

1620s, "to fasten with spikes," from spike (n.1). Meaning "to rise in a spike" is from 1958. Military sense (1680s) means "to disable guns by driving a large nail into the touch-hole." Figurative use of this sense is from 1823. Meaning "to lace (a drink) with liquor" is from 1889. Journalism sense of "to kill a story before publication" (1908) is from the metal spindle in which old-time editors filed hard copy of stories after they were set in type, or especially when rejected for publication. Related: Spiked; spiking.

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bootlegger (n.)

also boot-legger, "one who makes, distributes, or sells goods illegally," 1885, American English, originally in reference to those who sold illicit liquor in states with strict prohibition laws (Iowa, Kansas), from bootleg (q.v.). The word enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. during Prohibition (1920-1933), and the abstracted element -legger was briefly active in word-formation, e.g. meatlegger during World War II rationing, booklegger for those who imported banned titles such as "Ulysses."

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lush (n.)

"drunkard," 1890, from earlier slang meaning "liquor" (1790, especially in phrase lush ken "alehouse"), of obscure origin; perhaps a humorous use of lush (adj.) or from a word in Romany or Shelta (tinkers' jargon). It also was a verb, "to drink heavily" (1811).

LUSHEY. Drunk. The rolling kiddeys had a spree, and got bloody lushey; the dashing lads went on a party of pleasure, and got very drunk. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Hence also Lushington humorous generic name for a tippler (1823). It was an actual surname.

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broach (v.)

"to pierce," mid-14c., from Old French brochier "to spur," also "to penetrate sexually" (12c., Modern French brocher), from the Old French noun (see broach (n.), and compare Italian broccare). The meaning "begin to talk about" is 1570s, a figurative use with suggestions of "broaching" a cask or of spurring into action (which was a sense of the verb in Middle English). Related: Broached broaching.

To broach a cask is to pierce it for the purpose of drawing off the liquor, and hence, metaphorically, to broach a business, to begin upon it, to set it a going. [Hensleigh Wedgwood, "A Dictionary of English Etymology," 1859]
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bottle (n.)

"narrow-necked hollow vessel for holding and carrying liquids," mid-14c., originally of leather, from Old French boteille (12c., Modern French bouteille), from Vulgar Latin *butticula (source also of Spanish botella, Italian bottiglia), diminutive of Late Latin buttis "a cask," which is perhaps from Greek.

In reference to a baby's feeding bottle by 1848 (sucking-bottle is attested from 1844). The bottle, figurative for "liquor," is from 17c. Bottle-washer is from 1837; bottle-shop is from 1929; bottle-opener as a mechanical device is from 1875. Bottle-arsed was old printers' slang for type wider at one end than the other.

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alky (n.)

also alchy, 1841, "an alcoholic drink" (also "alcoholic drink personified"), a slang shortening of alcoholic liquor first attested in temperance publications. As "a drunkard" (short for alcoholic (n.)) it is suggested by 1888.

"What is his name?"
"Hall is his real name; but they call him Alky, because he drinks — Alky Hall; alcohol, you know. But he's given up drinking now, since I told him about temperance and lent him my Sargent's 'Temperance Tales.' I'll warrant you he'll never drink another drop." [Joseph Kirkland, "The McVeys," 1888] 
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canteen (n.)

1744 (in a recollection from c. 1710), "store in a military camp," from French cantine "sutler's shop" (17c.), from Italian cantina "wine cellar, vault," diminutive of canto "a side, corner, angle." Thus it is perhaps another descendant of the many meanings that were attached to Latin canto "corner;" in this case, perhaps "corner for storage." A Gaulish origin also has been proposed.

The sense of "refreshment room at a military base" (1803) was extended to schools, etc. by 1870. The meaning "small tin for water or liquor, carried by soldiers on the march, campers, etc." is from 1744, from a sense in French.

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Malthusian (n.)

1812 (n.) "a follower of English economist Thomas R. Malthus (1766-1835)," especially with regard to the doctrines set forth in his "Essay on the Principle of Population" (published anonymously in 1798).

In this work he first made prominent the fact that population, unless hindered by positive checks, as wars, famines, etc., or by preventive checks, as social customs that prevent early marriage, tends to increase at a higher rate than the means of subsistence can, under the most favorable circumstances, be made to increase. As a remedy he advocated the principle that society should aim to diminish the sum of vice and misery, and check the growth of population, by the discouragement of early and improvident marriages, and by the practice of moral self-restraint. [Century Dictionary]

As an adjective, "of or pertaining to Malthus," by 1818. Related: Malthusianism "theory of the relation of population to the means of subsistence" (1825). The surname is attested from late 13c., and probably means "worker at a malt-house."

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