New Word: For Drinks

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

New Word # 127

I haven’t come up with a word list for a while. Then last night as I was drinking for the New Year, I thought of making a post for containers of drinks.

Talking about drinks, I can’t help remembering the days when I was little, living at the southern edge of the Mongolian Steppe. You know people would do ridiculous things just for a drink and it’s no different in this wind swept place with very few drinking options. An incident happened in the rural college my mother worked long before I was born. You know in places where old customs have more power than written laws, people can sometimes behave in a way quite unthinkable to our modern mind. That’s what happened here–between the villagers and the rural college, there had always been tensions and disputes. Sometimes it was an unresolved argument about land; sometimes it’s about the rural loudspeakers being placed too close to the college border; sometimes it was the missing of apples or sunflower seeds, for which villagers blamed the college students. Among all the old and new frictions between the two sides, land was a major issue. Since the rural college wanted to expand, it bred certain resentment from the villages surrounding it. This resentment would slowly grow until… one day a small event would spark a big brawl.

This happened once every three years or so. One day, several students went down to the nearby village to steal some apples. The farmer saw them, and followed them back to the campus. The students ran into the building that housed the biology or chemistry department–I can’t remember which. The farmer searched for the students, but couldn’t find them. He left, but before quitting the building, he saw big containers of ethanol and other ethanol like chemicals in the glass paneled cabinets. He had an idea, that could satisfy both his thirst for drinks and for revenge. At night, a group of villagers came to the campus, sneaked into the building, and stole at least twenty of those containers, each at least one gallon in size.

The problem was that the ethanol tasted bitter and weird. And some were not even ethanol, but rather ethanol like chemicals that are poisonous to human body. The whole village drank at night and had an impromptu feast among them. And of course they all ended up in the rural hospital. This prompted a serious investigation from the government. The villagers accused the university of deliberately lacing those containers with poisons, while the university counter-accused (don’t know if this is the right word) the villagers of robbery. Ever since then, all the chemicals in the university were locked up and secured in a special place and one person was designated to guard them.

When I came to America and saw that all the ethanol and other chemicals were placed in unlocked cabinets in the biomedical building that everybody who came in could have access to, I was a little surprised.

I was diverging from my original plan of listing containers for wine or coffee etc. And Here is the list:

flagon: a large container in which drink is served, typically with a handle and spout. I often see this word in poems, but I’ve never seen it being used elsewhere. It looks quite elegant, judging from the google image.

goblet: a drinking glass with a foot and a stem. This is not to be confused with goblin, which means a mischievous, ugly creature resembling a dwarf. This word is not often used now, but one can see it if one reads historical novels. Or it is used in poems.

pitcher: a large container, typically earthenware, glass, or plastic, with a handle and a lip, used for holding and pouring liquids. This word is often used. In a restaurant, if you order draft beers for a table of four or more people, it may come in a pitcher. This word has nothing to do with pitch at all when it is used as a container. However when it is used in baseball, it is related with pitch.

beaker or flask: These two glass containers are both used in labs. Beakers have straight surface while flasks have triangle shapes and curvy surface.

hip flask: a small flask for liquor, of a kind intended to be carried in a hip pocket. One can often see hip flasks in movies. It looks quite elegant and flat, usually made of metal. Quite small in size and can be put in a pocket.

tumbler: a drinking glass with straight sides and no handle or stem. We use tumblers quite often to drink beverages at home. I don’t know why it is called tumbler as if it is good at tumbling.

chalice: a large cup or goblet, typically used for drinking wine.

beer stein or beer mug: Most people just say beer mug and often beer mugs are made of glass. However it is said the more official name is beer stein. I’ve never heard the word “stein” being used before.

tankard: a tall beer mug. Usually a metal cup that people would use in ancient times. I’ve only seen the word n poems.

keg: a pressurized metal barrel with a valve at one end, used to store and dispense beer or other carbonated drinks. If you want to have a big party, you can order a keg of draft beer.

vat: a large container used for mixing or storing liquid substances, especially in a factory. It is like a barrel.

vial: a small container, typically cylindrical and made of glass, used especially for holding liquid medicines.

magnum: a wine bottle of twice the standard size, normally 1 1/2 liters. I saw this pretty often in Costco.

amphora: a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck. It looks quite elegant and it is made of clay.

cruet: a small container for salt, pepper, oil, or vinegar for use at a dining table.

canister: a round or cylindrical container, typically one made of metal, used for storing such things as food, chemicals, or rolls of film.

decanter: a glass container into which wine is decanted.

demitasse cup /ˈdemētäs/: a small cup used to serve espresso. Demitasse means “half-cup.”

Stock Pot with Spigot: You will often see such contraptions in a buffet. I thought there’s a word for it but it doesn’t.

samover: A samovar is a metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water. It is originally Russian.

coupe or flute: It is said champagne glasses (tall and slim) are often called coupe or flute, but I’ve never seen either of the two words being used.

25 thoughts on “New Word: For Drinks

    1. Oh, how can I forget shot glasses? Yes, I did forget it. LOL. They are so common. I mean more commonly used than the rest. And a cheerful new year to you. I wish you will come back with your writing about your life… Well, I will be here waiting…

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    1. Thank you for such a sweet encouragement. Some of them are not often used, but I see them in poems…. I guess poets have to drink first before working on their trade, which is why they put a lot of drink utensils in their poems.

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        1. That’s a thought. I don’t usually drink and I find that alcohol doesn’t help my mind. However each of us has different reactions to alcohol and some may find that it can be helpful…

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        2. I very rarely drink but I’ve heard that I’m a sad drunk sometimes lol. That makes me a better writer but not so fun to be around. I personally think I’m fun when I drink so I don’t know.

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        3. I wish I can drink, but I know my body cannot take it. I know that some people would cry when they get drunk. I remember one of my relatives got drunk, and cried and started to rail against my mother and my grandmother. When he became sober again, he pretended nothing happened.

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        4. True, true. Social drinking is great to take edge off. LOL. I always try to hide my edges…maybe not successfully… Actually whatever I ever say is quite benign but still…

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  1. Excellent collection of words. Oddly, beaker and flask have some other non-scientific meanings as well (in British English at least). A beaker can be a plastic (or, at any rate, not glass) container for drinking out of. A flask can be a thermos flask.

    Recently I used the phrase “like a shot” when speaking to a young person. (As in “Would you go back?” “Yes – like a shot.”) They looked mystified. They had only come across the word “shot” in the context of a “shot glass” – a small glass for spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A flask can be a thermos? That is so cool. Back home we use a lot of thermos to keep hot water hot, but here people don’t use thermos very much. Oh, a shot, yes, like in a bar. I’ve never heard of “like a shot”. Haha, a young person. That’s a cool description. I guess this is quite an up-to-date description of a person without touching on the gender issue.

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  2. I had a poetry teacher once who said it’s all about finding the right word. You’ve done a great job of illustrating this here—it’s not just a cup, it’s a very specific cup which brings with it a whole host of other imagery.

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