Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 181

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….

Lamb’s Wool

Grose is back to his alcoholic recipes again with this definition, which he noted was “apples roasted and put into strong ale”. The phrase first appeared in writing in the sixteenth century, although this was something likely done for many centuries before that.

The origins of the word aren’t known, although some speculate that it’s from ‘La Maes Abhal’, from the festival of the Day of the Apple Fruit. I suspect it’s just named after the appearance of the drink, which had a frothy top, given that whole eggs were often added and whipped in with the drink. Actually, I’m not sure what the eggs were doing in this drink, just the apples put in strong ale seems enough to me, but there we go….