Wet Your Whistle

“Why not sit down and wet your whistle?”

We know this euphemism means to have a drink, and commonly is used when referring to an alcoholic beverage.  Where did this saying come from?

Many sources point towards ye olde English pubs as the source of this term.  It’s said whistles were baked into the handles or rims of their cups and patrons would blow these whistles when they wanted them refilled.  When the cup was filled, the whistle would then become wet, hence “wet your whistle.”  This, however, is pure conjecture.  No evidence has been found to support this.

The most likely origin is a much older use of the term.  It’s documented in English literature written as early as the 14th century in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales that the mouth and throat were often referred to as “the whistle.”  So to wet the whistle was to quench your thirst or wet your mouth and throat.

Either way, the meaning involves drinking or taking a drink.

On a final note, “wet your whistle” doesn’t mean the same thing as “whet your whistle.”  But that’s fodder for another post another time.


One response to “Wet Your Whistle

  1. Pingback: How To Whistle With Your Fingers by Brett & Kate McKay « CITIZEN.BLOGGER.1984+ GUNNY.G BLOG.EMAIL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s