MEETING OF THE BURTON-ON-TRENT SECTION HELD AT THE QUEEN’S
HOTEL,’BURTON-ON-TRENT, on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4th, 1925.
Mr. C. G. Matthews in the Chair.
The following Paper was read and discussed:—
TECHNICAL TERMS IN BREWING, MALTING AND ALLIED TRADES
by S. K. Thorpe.
The following glossary of technical terms has been collected with a view to forming a reference which may be useful to members of the Institute.
In collecting these words, one is struck with the great number which are of Flemish or Dutch.origin, particularly Brewing words, but when dealing with old words connected with Barley and Malting, many are found to be of Celtic or Anglo-Saxon origin.
I should like to express my thanks for the great assistance I have received from many interested in Etymology, and particularly Messrs, E. S. Beavan, John Doull, James Fison (Thetford), A. Jackson. C. G. Matthews, R. McCreath, and F. L. Talbot.
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Those engaged in Brewing, Malting and Allied Trades are frequently meeting technical terms, the exact meaning of which may not be known to them, and serious mistakes may occur. For example, the word—
Maltkiln is used in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire to apply to the whole building, whereas in every other County the word is only used to apply to the actual drying kiln, and does not include that part of the building used for barley-storage, flooring, and malt storage. Some time ago a Lincolnshire maltster asked a builder to give an estimate for reroofing his maltkiln, and the builder’s clerk, being new to the neighbourhood, measured the kiln only, sent in a price which was accepted, and the work was started; difficulty arose when the maltster demanded that the whole building should be re-roofed at the price named by the contractor, who had only allowed in his price for re-roofing about a third of the building.
Gyle is used in most breweries as applying to the whole of the ale or stout brewed from the malt, etc., used at one operation, yet in Ireland the words “Gyle” or “Gyling” are synonymous with “Priming,” as used in other parts of the world, and mean “to add a small quantity of sugar in solution,” or wort in an incipient state of fermentation to ale or stout just before it is sent out of the brewery.
Similarly, mistakes occur in other countries owing to technical terms not having the same meaning in one country as another, e.g., a brewery in Brazil cabled to its buying agent in London for an offer of 1,000 tons of Californian cerbada, which is the Portuguese word for barley; by exchanging a few cables a contract was entered into for the shipment of 1,000 tons of Californian barley from San Francisco to Santos. After the contract was partly carried out, it was discovered that the Santos buyer had used the word “cerbada,” as the colloquial word which is used in this shortened form for “malt” (much in the same way that one speaks of “glass” when meaning “isinglass”). He should have cabled the words cerbada preparada, the Portuguese word for malt—naturally the price quoted for Californian barley appeared cheap to the Brazil brewer, who thought he was buying Californian malt.
There are a number of words used in connection with brewing which have a wide, and very varied meaning, according to the context in which they are used, although there are frequently very good old words which would express the meaning clearly and definitely, if they were more generally known. To take the simple word –
Corn: In England we often hear a buyer complain that the “corns,” in a delivery of barley are smaller than in the selling sample, whereas in Scotland there is the excellent word “pickle,” applying to the individual grains of a sample of barley, and it is a pity it cannot be more generally adopted for use in this sense. The word “corn” is used in America and Canada to apply to maize, and only maize (they use the word “cereal” to apply to grain generally, where we use “corn.”) In America “maize” means something quite different, and is used for what is more technically known as “milo-maize,” or what we know here as dari, which is largely exported from Egypt and Soudan, yet this same article when exported from South Africa is called “Kaffir corn,” although in India it is called “jewari,” and yet again, the same thing when exported from Rangoon is called millet, but “millet” when exported from Persia and Morocco is an entirely different grain, and used for quite a different purpose. Jewari is probably the greatest grain crop of India, although we do not hear much of it in this country it is probably capable of producing more alcohol by fermentation than any other grain. Incidentally, when our ever-increasing demand for petrol has consumed the world’s supply we may see some of our “derelict amalgamated breweries” used to produce motor alcohol by fermenting jewari. (jewari / jowar / sorghum)
The word “mealies” is used in South Africa for maize.
The words “Indian corn,” as applying to maize, have almost become obsolete in this country.
A similar variety of names are used for that large article of commerce called “ground nuts,” of which we see samples on the street barrows and portable roasting kitchens of the East End of London and other cities.
Ale : Anglo Saxon—Alu—possibly of Ieelandic or Danish origin (Icelandic Öl). Before the words ale and beer became almost synonymous, ale was made from sweet unhopped wort, whereas beer was made from the weaker wort boiled with hops, or other herbs, such as ground ivy or gentian (Qentiana Acatdis).
The word ale seems originally to have been associated with a feast, of which we have a remnant in the word “bridal,” or “bride-ale,” i.e., the ale provided at the wedding feast for toasting the bride. Also “mulled ale,” i.e., strong ale warmed, spiced, and sweetened, was originally used at funeral feasts, but later became associated with the Feast of Christmas. (See Nall on East Anglian dialects).
In Warwickshire to-day the word “hopale” is used as synonymous for “pale ale,” i.e., ale in which hops had been used, as distinct from mild ale, in which hops were not formerly used.
Artesian Well: A well made by boring a hole in the ground to a great depth, until a plentiful supply of water is reached, these bores are usually about 10 inches in diameter, and may go as deep as 700 to 800 feet. The name is taken from Artois, in Northern France, where the oldest well of this kind was sunk in the year 1126.
Back: Probably applied originally to wooden vessels used in brewing, although the word is found to-day in hop-back, underback, etc.—vessels which are now seldom made of wood. Probably taken from the Dutch word bak.
Barm: Anglo-Saxon, Beorma, Danish and German. “Barm” is still used in many breweries as an alternative name for yeast; the word is also used by bakers for their yeast. In Scotland, pitching yeast is known as “Store,” or “Stoor.” In the Eastern Counties the word Stoor is applied to the yeast used in domestic brewing to start fermentation. There is also the word “Stoor,” used in Scotland for fine dust of any kind, not necessarily connected with brewing.
Barn : (See under malting terms).
Beer-Good: East Anglian term for yeast, probably surplus yeast after fermentation is finished, and not required for “stoor,” i.e., future pitching yeast.
Binge: To keep wooden vessels with a certain quantity of water in them when not in ordinary use, so as to prevent the wood from shrinking or drying.
Break: A term applied to newly fermented beers, when they first show signs of automatically clarifying, that is, when the yeast or other matter begins to drop out of suspension. The term is also applied to automatic clarifying of wort from the mashtun, and also on the coolers, after boning.
Burgad: An old East Anglian name for yeast.
Burnt Ale : Distilling term for residue of fermented wort, from the still, after the whisky or alcohol has been distilled off. Also known as “pot ale.”
ClamberScull: East Anglian term for very strong ale.
Cleansing: The separating of the yeast from the fermented wort but in Scotland the word “cleanse,” is used as synonymous for “rack.”
Dew Drink: The first beer given to harvesters, before starting the harvest.
Draff: A Scottish term for brewers’ or distillers’ grains, i.e., the refuse of malt from the mash tun, after all the wort possible has been drawn off. Probably from Dutch draf—worthless.
Dropping System : The method of brewing in which fermenting wort when it has passed through the first stages of fermentation is “dropped ” or run down into a lower vessel for skimming off the yeast. This is distinct from that in which the fermentation and skimming are both done in the same vessel. This system is quite general in Yorkshire, and many parts of the country.
Entire Ale: As frequently seen advertised over licensed houses, particularly in the London district, seems to have originated about the time when innkeepers were ceasing to brew their own beers, and commenced to buy them from breweries. It frequently happened that a brewer commenced to supply an innkeeper when the home-brewed ale of the latter was sour or unpalatable, and eventually bought the inn, or took a lease on it, on condition that the innkeeper sold entirely that brewer’s ales, hence the sign “so and so’s entire ale.” An alternative explanation for “Entire” is that, in the early days of domestic brewing, the first “wort” or “ale” was fermented without the addition of any of the second wort, and was racked into a butt, which was known as “entire butt,” that is to say, the butt which did not contain any of the small beer or second wort, which the innkeeper usually mixed into the ale when serving it. If he had brewed an “entire butt” separately from the small beer, the customers asked for “entire ale,” if they wanted it from the “entire butt,” at a higher price. The latter explanation is probably the correct one.
Excise: A tax charged on the internal resources of a country; a tax on beer, spirits, etc., and right to tax certain privileges— from Dutch “excijs,” or old French “Acceis” —a tax ; connected with low Latin “accensare“—to tax. The word has no connection with the word “excise” meaning to cut out. Excise duties are old, and are found in Roman law when they were called “centerina,” i.e., 1 per cent.; they were abolished by the Emperor Caligula, when a special coin was struck to commemorate the remission of this form of tax, called “Renmsis Centerius.” Dr. Johnson’s definition is of interest—”a hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged, not by the common judges of property, but by wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid” (with apologies to our present day ever-courteous Excise officers for making the quotation).
Faucet: An alternative term for a spile or spigot, from the French fausset—to sample beer by drawing it from a cask with a “faucet.” The word “faucet” has quite a different meaning in America, where it is used for a tap of any kind. Americans speak of drawing water from a faucet, meaning household water from an ordinary tap from the public service supply.
Feed: Fermenting wort, drawn off from the yeast troughs (where the Burton Union system of cleansing is adopted) and added to the fermenting unions or puncheons, so as to keep these practically full, and enabling the yeast to work out of the fermenting wort; this “feeding” is necessary to replace the wastage caused by the abstraction of the yeast. In Scotland the words “touching up” are used.
Fining: Adding a small quantity of solution of isinglass to the trade casks of beers before they are sent out from the brewery, in order to produce quick clarification. The word is an abbreviated form of refining, or purifying. (See also “Isinglass” under “Allied Trades”).
Floater: A large two-wheel cart or dray, made with crouped axle, so that full casks are easily loaded and unloaded. This form of cart is in more general use in Burton than in most brewing centres. In Scotland and elsewhere it is called a float, but a float seems to imply a smaller cart than a floater.
Gallopped Beer: East Anglian term for “small beer” brewed for immediate use. (See Nall on East Anglian terms).
Ganlry or Guantry or Gauntree: Two strong josts of timber bolted together about 18 inches apart on which casks can be rolled up an inclined plain to a higher level, such as on to carts, drays, or a high platform, or “thrawl.” In Scotland the word “slipes” is used for “gauntree.” In other places the word “stillion” is used in this sense, although “stillion” usually means a movable wooden thrawl on to which casks may be set for “racking off” in a brewery, or for drawing off for use in a consumer’s cellar.
Goods: The contents of the mash-tun, after mashing has been completed.
Gosgood : An East Anglian name for yeast —said to be extinct.
Gotches: East Anglian term for large beer jugs or pitchers.
Grains: The refuse of the malt and other ingredients of the mash, after sparging has been completed.
Grout: Wort of the last running. According to Nall, who quotes Bishop Kennett, “Groat” is the result of the infusion of the mash only, and “wort” is the resulting infusion, after it is boiled and tunned, ready for fermenting.
Gyle: The whole of the beer produced from one brewing. (See also previous meaning of gyle)
Grist: Ground malt, after passing through the malt mill, is deposited in the Grist Case which is placed over the mash-tun for mashing.
Heat: Synonymous with temperature, but is used only for liquids or semi-liquids, and appears in brewing as Striking Heat: the temperature of the masking liquor.
Initial Heat: The temperature of the mash directly after mashing.
Tap Heat: The temperature of the wort taken shortly after the “taps are set,” i.e., when the first wort is drawn off from the mash.
Pitching Heat: The temperature to which the boiled wort is cooled and pitched or thrown into the fermenting vessel.
Hot-Pot: Warmed ale and spirits. The word is used in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Jacob’s Ladder : The term applied to an elevator having cups attached to an endless belt, the whole being encased and used for raising malt, grist, or grain from the bottom of a brewery or malting to a higher level, and depositing it in a hopper. Probably the idea is of Biblical origin, but the term appears to have been used for many years as applying to a rope-ladder, having wooden steps or treads, and is used still by sailors.
Jyssoping, or jysoping: is used in the Warwickshire and Birmingham districts as synonymous for “priming,” i.e., adding sugar solution or colouring matter in the racking back or to trade casks before beers are sent out from the brewery.
Kieve: The word is used in Ireland for mash tun—probably borrowed from domestic cider making, the “Kieve” being the tub in which the apples were crushed and fermented.
Kreitzing or Krausen or Kreezing or Kriesing: Is used on the Continent, and occasionally in the United Kingdom, in the sense of priming, except that on the Continent “Kreitzing” is usually done with actively fermenting wort, or fermenting sugar solution.
Ladegorn: A large wooden ladle with a long handle, was used in domestic brewing for emptying the copper of boiled wort,— probably a corruption of “lading-horn.” Is still used in some breweries for carrying vitrol to use for scouring coppers and coolers, etc.; also used for reracking damaged trade casks.
Lees: Sediment which settles at the bottom of the wine casks and vats, consisting mostly of dead yeast cells—from the French word—Lie—dregs, grounds, sediment, or lees.
Letch or Leach or Leech: The weakest wort, or last runnings from the mash tun, to wash or drain away by percolation of water. (Anglo-Saxon—leccan—to moisten). The term is used in Burton.
Leck On: According to Craven, “to mash in brewing.”
Louvre Boards: Or Luffre boards, the wooden openings of coolers, copper-houses, or malt kilns, which allow steam to escape while admitting air, but keeping out rain. Old French l’ouvert, open space.
Liquor: A general term in breweries for water—probably should only apply to the actual water used for mashing and sparging, but is frequently used for other water such as “washing liquor,” “refrigerating liquor,” “cask-washing liquor,” etc.
Mawbled: Used in connection with beer turning sour. (See Nall on East Anglian expressions).
Mother: Thick scum which forms on beer left standing, or accumulates in beer taps.
Mash : To mix—Anglo-Saxon Miscian—to mix.
Mash Tun: The vessel used for containing the infusion of malt and hot liquor. In Ireland the word “Kieve” is used as synonymous for mash tun.
Pickling: A solution of caustic (or antiseptic) for cleansing wort pipes; the word is also used as applying to coarse jute sacking used for dunnage, or separation cloths where two or more qualities of barley are shipped on the same vessel.
Ponto: (See Tunner)
Racking: Filling trade casks with ale—to strain or draw wine off from the lees, or deposits—old French Raquer—to draw off wine, or Vin Raque—wine drawn off from the lees, or as would be termed in brewing, “Racked fine ale.”
Ropy-Beer: Due to the development of certain micro-organisms. Takes its name from the idea that beer will stretch out into strings, or ropes, in extreme cases of ropiness. Ropy beer is somewhat of the consistency of thin treacle, and pours out like a rope.
Running In: In many breweries all trade casks are filled with hot liquor at about 190° F., and allowed to stand for about two hours—this is known as “running in,” or sterilizing.
Setting Taps: The act of starting to draw off the wort from the mash tun—in Scotland the word “slack” is used as a synonym for “setting taps.”
Shive or Shieve: A wooden bung for closing a cask, a thin slice apparently from Dutch word, “Schijf,” of this meaning.
Slack: To set taps, to start running wort off the Mash tun.
Sparging: Sprinkling the “goods” in the mash tun with liquor at various temperatures, to wash out all available extract in the form of wort.
Spile or Spigot: A wooden plug for stopping a hole in a cask—which has been purposely made for drawing a sample, or of being used as a vent peg—probably from the Dutch word “speld” a splinter and the Gaelic word, “Spiocaid,” a plug for stopping a hole. Porous “spiles” or “vents” are often inserted in the shive of newly-racked beers to prevent pressure caused by secondary fermentation bursting the casks.
Splashings: Boiled liquor passed over the cooler and refrigerator, and added in the fermenting vessel to reduce the gyle to the required gravity. In some breweries the “splashings” are added as “spargings” from the hops in the hop-back, with the idea of washing out any extract left in the hops before they are pressed.
Stout: Extra strong porter—old Dutch “stolt” or stout.
Stillion: A wooden frame used for setting full casks so that the contents may be easily drawn off. In Scotland, however, the word “stillion” is not used in this sense.
Tell Tale: An automatic indicator to show how much liquor is contained in a tank or other vessel worked by a float on the surface of the liquid, and a chain over pulleys to the outside, showing how much liquid is in the tank, or how much has been drawn off—in other words an “indicator.”
Thrawl or Thrall: The elevated brickwork part of cellar on which casks are set, so that the contents may be drawn off.
Touching Up: (see under “Feed”)
Tunners: Large casks used for cleansing purposes, for working off the yeast when fermentation has proceeded far enough. Tunners have now generally been superseded by Burton Unions where this method of cleansing is used. In some old breweries tunners are called “pontos.”
Tunning: Running the fermenting wort from the fermenting vessel into the “tunners,” or “unions,” or skimming vessel for cleansing off the yeast.
Tun-Dish: Wooden funnel used for filling the “tunners” with fermenting wort; in old-fashioned chemists’ shops the word “tun-dish” is occasionally heard as a synonym for a “funnel” used for filling bottles, but the word is borrowed from early domestic brewing, when fermenting ale was poured into the tunner through the “tun dish.” In Ireland the word is used almost exclusively instead of “funnel.”
Ullage: The quantity which a cask has lost after being filled during storage owing to evaporation, leakage, absorption by the wood, or other cause. Old French Eullage, or Oeiller—to fill up.
Vellinch or Vallinch or Vellincher or Flincher: An instrument for drawing a sample of ale from a cask through the shivehole. A flincher is said to have been used at one time for drawing off the thick sediment or deposit from the bottom of a trade cask shortly after it had been “stillioned,” and the deposit allowed to settle. A flincher was inserted through the shive-hole to the bottom of the trade cask, so that the thick deposit was drawn into the flincher and removed, thus preventing the ale from turning thick or cloudy when the cask was tilted, said to have been practised in Scotland at one time.
Vat: A large wooden vessel in which ale or stout is stored in bulk, at one time spelt fat—Anglo-Saxon fæt, Dutch vat; probably applied originally to a vessel used for storing water, brine, or liquid of any kind. The word occurs in old malting books, where the steeping cistern is termed the “uting vat,” or “uting fat.” It is still used in old maltings in the Eastern Counties. The same word also occurs in “cheese-vat” or “cheese-fat“—the round wooden vessels in which milk curds are pressed, until all the “whey” is extracted, and the residue results in cheese.
Wort: Unfermented solution of malt, apparently an old Anglo-Saxon word, as we find wyrte — new beer. The word probably originally meant the solution of a plant, possibly made from the root of a plant, as we get the some, word in mangold wurzel. The number of plants ending in “wort” probably take their names from the fact of these plants being boiled to a solution, and the “wort,” or solution, used for a herbal medicine, as a remedy for specific maladies, e.g., “stitchwort,” “liverwort.”
X, XX, XXX: Markings of casks to show the quality of the contents, was apparently first used only for stout.
Zythepsary: An obsolete word of Egyptian origin for a brewery. When the Romans conquered Egypt, they apparently found that they could not grow grapes there to make wine, and so produced a drink from barley, which they called “zythun,” or “bowsa” (barley -wine), i.e., wine made from barley, or corn.
In looking into the origin and meaning of brewing terms, one is struck by the number of terms of Dutch or Flemish origin; this is particularly exemplified in the names of casks.
Barrel: A 36 gallon cask, or as used inside most breweries, a unit of measure of 36 gallons, not necessarily associated with a cask. The name implies something cylindrical, or hollow like the barrel of a gun. Probably the original barrels of domestic brewing were only tapered at one end and filled through a bung hole at the top of the cask.
To-day the word “barrel” is used in Ireland as a measure of four bushels of grain of any kind, and the Irish still buy their barley and malt at so much per barrel. In the case of barley, 224 lb., and malt, 168 lb., the term is used throughout Ireland in this same way, and is applied to wheat, oats, and maize. In this sense a barrel may have been originally a measure of 32 gallons, or four bushels, and originated when wooden vessels, and not sacks were used in which to make delivery of grain; they were probably hollow cylindrical casks with the head removable at one end.
Butt: This is commonly used in brewing for a cask of 108 gallons, but when used in the wine trade refers to a cask of 126 gallons.
Firkin: A nine gallon cask, or fourth part of a barrel. Another Dutch word, with a diminutive form of kin—a child, and the old Dutch word “vierde” — a fourth part of. The word occurs in the Biblical account of the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. The original word from which it is translated implies an earthenware vessel with an uncovered top.
Hogshead: A cask containing 54 gallons, in this country; but in Ireland, a cask containing 52 gallons. Probably of Dutch origin from “okshoofd,” or oxhead, and is said to have derived its name in this country from casks sent over from Holland to London, and probably Edinburgh, containing spirits (probably the predecessor of modern Schiedam gin). Such casks had the shipper’s mark branded on the head of the cask, viz., a figure of an ox’s, or hog’s head. These casks, when emptied, were bought and used by the London brewers, and became known as “hogsheads” or “oxheads,” but whether the figure branded was intended to represent a hog’s or an ox’s head seems doubtful—probably the former, as one can hardly understand an “h” being pronounced in front of a word unless it were already there in the original. This is probably the reason why to-day we always speak of the “head” on a cask, and not the “end” of a cask.
A possible alternative derivation has been suggested, viz., from an “ox hide” being used as a skin, to contain wine or beer, but this seems less probable.
Kid: East Anglian—a small cask or keg—used for flour or herrings, not liquids.
Kilderkin: A cask measure of 18 galllons, from the Dutch “kind“—a child. A diminutive term probably meaning a small barrel, subsequently becoming half a barrel. There is a Scotch word “kiniken” still in use, meaning a small child.
Lap: East Anglian for “small beer.”
Pipe: A word used more in the wine trade than in the brewing trade, though used for a cask containing two hogsheads—apparently from the Dutch “pijp.” Pipe wine is referred to in Shakespeare, as wine drawn from the wood, as distinct from wine from bottles. The word “pipe” is used also as a commercial description of isinglass, when it is sold in the form of long hollow pieces, ready for making “finings,” but probably this takes its name from the similarity of isinglass, in this form, to a smoker’s pipe.
Pin: A 4½ gallon cask. It has been suggested that the word is an abbreviated form of “pipkin” (pronounced “pippin”), a small earthenware jar containing about 4½ gallons, or it may be a diminutive form of “pipe,” Dutch “Pijh.”
Stinker: A cask in which the wood has become incurably infected, thus preventing it ever again being used as a trade cask for beer, owing to the unpleasant taste and smell which it gives to the contents. Stinker casks are said to be “Fusty,” or in the Eastern counties, “Fristy.”
BARLEY and MALTING TERMS
Archimedean Screw: Used for conveying grist, malt, or barley horizontally for a short distance. It consists of a shafting with flanges attached to it, enclosed in a case, so that the grist, or barley, is gradually pushed forward in the encasement by the flanges of the screw.
Arbiter: A word used in Scotland. In other districts the word “arbitrator” is employed.
Airitch: In the Eastern Counties a barley Airitch means a barley stubble, i.e., a field on which the barley has recently been cut and harvested, before any further cultivation has been done.
Avel: An Eastern Counties term for the awn of barley.
Backelage: A gratuity given to a waggoner when he delivers barley into a country malting. When given a receipt for the barley, he asks for a “backelage,” i.e., a gratuity with which to buy a drink of beer; the word is still commonly used in Essex.
Barn: From Anglo-Saxon “Bare”—Barley, and “em” —House, i.e., “barleyhouse.” As in early Saxon times, the principal building on the farm was called the “barley-house,” it is apparent that in Anglo-Saxon times, barley was the chief cultivated grain crop, as we do not find any corresponding word for wheat house, and barley, as a cultivated crop, is probably much older than any other grain.
Barley: Anglo-Saxon — Bare. — Barley, and “Lie”—a plant. The suffix “Lie” seems to imply a plant found growing wild and cultivated for domestic use, as found in the words “garlic” and “leek” (originally “leac”), so that the name seems to imply a plant growing wild and cultivated for domestic use.
Barley-Mung: East Anglian terms for barley-meal, mixed with water.
Barley Sele: East Anglian term for the barley sowing season.
Barley Bottles: Bundles of barley in the straw, fed to farm horses.
Banner: The maltsters mess-room in the kiln hole of a maltings; it is used in the Home Counties and Northamptonshire; in London the word “trophy” is used in the same sense.
Brand or Branded Barley: Barley smutty, or blighted, while still standing in the straw.
Beer: Is claimed as a malting term, being the drink made from “bere,” or “bigg,” that is to say, barley, although it may be derived from the Dutch or German word, which, in both languages, is called “bier.”
Bourges or Bowdes: An East Anglian word for weevils.
Bigg or Beer or Bere: The six-rowed barley still grown in the North of Scotland, and which is the same botanical variety as the older type of Californian Barley, as generally known before the introduction of that modern innovation, “Californian Mariout.” Danish ” Bijg “—Icelandic Bygg— seems to infer that the six-rowed barley, or “bere” of the North of Scotland was introduced from Iceland or, possibly, Denmark, although this same variety of barley is still grown in Iceland.
Brew: An East Anglian term for the field side of a ditch or open drain, where on the opposite of a ditch, there is a hedge.
Buskins: Technical term for jute sacking, tied round the working maltster’s feet when emptying the malting cistern, or “Uting vat,” with the double purpose of keeping the men’s feet dry, and also of preventing them from crushing the barley by treading it on the floor of the cistern. Originally buskin was a kind of half-shoe, formerly worn by actors.
Combe or Comb or Coombe: An old English measure of grain consisting of four bushels (Anglo-Saxon cumb — measure). Barley is still bought at so much per comb in the Eastern counties, but is now generally understood to mean a weight of 224 lb.
Couch: Steep barley, thrown from the cistern into the “Couch Frame,” where the duty was originally charged on the malt. From the French “Coucher,” to lie down. Probably used originally as applying to the wet barley only, before germination was fully started, but has come to be used in many districts for the growing barley, at any time after leaving the “uting vat,” and before going to the kiln.
Cowl: The outlet to a malt kiln, which automatically revolves with the wind, so as to leave the open side of the cowl open to the direction in which the wind is blowing. Named from its similarity to the headdress worn by the monks.
Culms: The dried rootlets produced in malting, from same origin as Latin culmus — a stalk, frequently called “malt-dust,” “shives,” “shivers,” ” kivers,” etc., etc. The word “malt-dust” is generally used in the Midland Counties, and seems some what of a misnomer, as culms are quite different from dust given off by malt. The word “combings” is generally used in Ireland. In Scotland the word “Cumins” is used.
Cavings: Unthreashed ears of barley taken out by screening (or wheat). It is usually given to poultry, also known as “chobs” or “chobbins” or ” Calder ” or “Cosh.”
Dredge: A mixture of oats and barley grown together, used for making “dredgemalt,” which dates back to the 13th century, when dredge malt was in common use. In some cases the word “dredge-corn” also included peas and beans, but it does not then appear to have been used for malt.
Escourgeon Barley: The native six-rowed winter barley of France. The word is also employed a good deal in Algeria and Tunis, where it is used as applying to the old native variety of six-rowed barley, as distinct from . . .
Exotic Barley: That is to say, any variety of barley introduced into the country and used for planting—a variety of barley not indigenous to a country.
Fathom: See “Tillering.”
Fou: Scotch for intoxicated ; from old Scotch fou—a bushelfull. Not the bushel itself, but the contents, hence full, or full up.
Fount: A term still used in East Anglia for malt, which has become ”slack,” or soft, owing to absorption of moisture.
Frigel: The head of flail, which beats out the corn—the handle is called the “head staff.”
Gavel, or Gavin: A sheaf of barley before it is tied up.
Gofe or Goaf: A rick of barley in a barn.
Gunney: Indian name for “sack,” from Hindustani word Goni — sacking. Barley from India, Australia, and Chile is shipped usually in gunney bags, i.e., sacks which contain about 190 lb. each.
Hawkey or Hockey: A harvest supper, or feast after harvest.
Last: A term used in Hull for 10 quarters of grain of any kind. Charges at that port are always reckoned at so much per last. Probably originates from the Dutch or Hansa times, when a “last” was equivalent to 4,000 lb., when grain was imported or exported to or from Flanders and Holland. It seems to be connected with lading or loading on board a vessel, possibly from the Anglo-Saxon Hloest or Hladen — to load (on a vessel).
Laatage: The loading of a ship, or room for stowing on a ship—also a duty paid about the 14th century for the right to carry grain on a ship, when the Eastern Counties exported large quantities of grain to the Continent.
Load (to load a kiln): To transfer growing “pieces” or growing “couch” from the working floor on to the kiln.
Load: A unit of quantity which has various meanings, according to the grain in question, e.g.,
Load of Malt: Six bushels, sometimes called a “bole” or “boll.” It is still used in certain country breweries in Wales, where buyers insist on maltsters making delivery in sacks, containing six bushels.
Load of Amercian, or Canadian Barley: Is a 1,000 qrs. of 400 lb.
Load of Californian Barley: Is sometimes used to mean 250 tons or 1,250 qrs. of 448 lb.
Load of Plate Barley: Also 250 tons, whereas a
Load of American or Canadian Wheat or Maize: Is 1,000 qrs. of 480 lb.
Lodged: Barley is said to “lodge” in the field, when it is nearly beaten down flat by rain or storm. Alternative words for the same things are “baffled,” “nickled,” “snaffled,” “waited,” “layered.”
Lookum or Lucum: The projecting part of a malting, brewery, or grain store, which contains a sack hoisting gear, from which sacks can be hoisted into the building from railway wagons or carts.
Malt: Past tense of Anglo-Saxon word meltan to soften, and was spelt in Anglo-Saxon “mealt.”
Cuckoo Malt: Malt made late in the season, after the cuckoo has commenced to sing—a term of disapproval and used ironically.
Magpied Malt, or Niggered Malt, or Shockered Malt: Malt which contains pickles which are scorched or partly blackened on the skin owing to the pickles having remained on the kiln floor during the whole of the firing process, and having been missed when the malt was turned on the kiln floor. Magpied malt occurs when the kiln floor becomes worn and irregular on the surface, and has hollows and crevices into which the malt gets, and thus escapes moving when the kiln is turned.
Maltster, Matter, or Mailman: In Saxon times the making of malt was probably done by women, “Ster” being entirely a feminine suffix until about the 16th century (as in spinster, and brewster). Maltsters were women attached to the Manor, or Castle, whose duty it was to do the actual malting, and the “maltman,” or matter probably, carried the sacks of barley into the malthouse, and delivered the malt to the innkeeper or farmer, malting being a semi-domestic operation, carried on by the Lord of the Manor.
Monkey Ladder: Upright ladders fixed to the wall of a malting on the inside of a building, so as to give ready access from one working floor to another, without going to the regular stairway. Sometimes (though probably incorrectly) called a Jacob’s ladder. In Essex this is called a “cat ladder.”
Mow-Burnt: Is applied to barley which has been heated in the stack or “mow.” The same word occurs in the sign of the Inn, “Barley-Mow”—that is to say, an inn which had attached to it a “barn”—that end of the barn where the barley was stored in the straw before being threshed was called the “Barley-Mow.” (the word seems to imply barley in the straw, in bulk, not sheaves). Barley was probably harvested this way in Saxon times, although we find reference to sheaves, as a method of harvesting in Egyptian Biblical times. In Essex, a “Barley-Mow” is sometimes called a “Goaf.” To stack corn in a barn, in the straw, is to “goave” it.
Outshot: Term applied to an enlargement of a building, by having a subsidiary one built alongside of it to afford increased floor space. Nearly every malting in Lincolnshire has an “outshot” built on to it so as to give increased malting floor room. In Scotland, the word is used for an enlargement of any existing building, but in Lincolnshire apparently only used for maltings.
Oversman: A Scottish term, used where two arbiters or arbitrators are appointed to settle a dispute (particularly on barley), and, being unable to agree, call in a third arbitrator, or umpire, who is called an”Oversman.”
Pamments: Tiles, or bricks about 6 in. or 9 in. square and one inch thick, used for paving malting floors. The word is in general use in East Anglia, and it is a pity it cannot be more generally adopted, as a “tile” is more frequently used to apply to material used for roofing. “Pamments” is probably a corruption of pavements.
Pickles: Scotch term for the individual grains of a sample of barley or other grain.
Pit or Pet: The room into which hot malt is thrown from the kiln before going into the malt store, or malt garner—the term is still used in Essex maltings.
Bucking Malt: This term is used to apply to the process of throwing the malt into a heap on the kiln at the close of the curing period.
Scuppet: A small scoop used by maltsters for weighing up malt at even weights.
Stooling: (See ” Tillering”)
Strickle: The straight edged piece of wood, with which to strike off the bushel, so that it is level full.
Strike: Another term for bushel. Used in Leicestershire in this sense, although in some places, is used as an alternative for “Strickle.”
Sweating Barley: i.e., Kiln-drying it, by driving off excess moisture—as when a person sweats. A.S. “swat,” or “sweatan”—to sweat—the schoolboy’s expression”swatting” for an examination is probably of the same origin, i.e., working hard for an examination.
Tail: Thin and poor barley, screened out before steeping.
Tail Barley: The screenings.
Head Barley: The good barley after the “tail” has been taken out.
Tide: A period of 12 hours, often used in Eastern Counties Maltings to express the period of steeping. A malting foreman will say that he is steeping for five tides, or six tides, as the case may be.
Tillering, or Stooling: The extent to which more than one shoot or ear branches out from the same individual grain of barley in the early stages of growth, after being planted in the field. The word fathom is used in the Eastern Counties for the same thing, e.g., “The Barley ‘fathoms’ well.”
Tripper: The throw off carriage of a conveying band used for moving barley horizontally from one building to another. Sometimes called the “chair.”
Trophy: The maltsters mess-room.—(See “Banner,”)
Twitchell: A narrow passage between two buildings. The term is applied to the passage way between two or three malting, built side by side, and is in general use in Hertfordshire and Ware districts.’
Uting: An East Anglian term for a malting.
Uting Vat: or Uting fat—an Eastern Counties name for a malting cistern or steeping tank.
Withering: The last stage of germination before the “piece” is put on the kiln; in early maltings this was generally done on a separate floor on the same level as the kiln, and to which the couch or “piece” was thrown, two days before being loaded on the kiln.
Isinglass or Finings: The dried airbladder of the sturgeon from which brewers’ finings are prepared. The name originates from the Dutch words huizen (the h not being sounded)—a kind of sturgeon, and bias: a bladder. The word isinglass is frequently shortened in general use, and referred to as “glass.”
Leaf : Isinglass, dried in the shape of a “leaf.”
Pipe: Isinglass, dried in the shape of a stick or pipe.
Chamfer: The inside bevelled edge of the chimb on the head side of the staves, which protrudes over the head of the cask, and forms the inner part of the chimb.
Chimb: That part of the staves of a cask, which protrudes beyond the head of the cask.
Chimbing Adze: Used for forming the chimbs of a cask ; an axe with a curved semi-circular cutting edge, which chops at right angles to the handle.
Chintz: A tool used for driving the rush into the grooves of a cask, where the head meets the staves, to make the cask tight when headed up.
Chiv: The tool used for hollowing the ends of staves, before cutting the groove, into which the head of the cask fits.
Cog: The word was used by London coopers years ago, for the wooden hoops now known as trusses; it is still occasionally used.
Cooper’s Axe: Is a tool for chopping the heads and staves of casks roughly into shape.
Cooper’s-beck Iron: A kind of miniature anvil, on which coopers punch out the rivet holes of iron hoops, and also drive the rivets down tight, when riveting the two ends of the hoops.
Cooper’s Driver: Is the tool which coopers use for placing on the rim of the iron hoops for driving the hoops tightly on the casks.
Cooper’s Jigger: Is the steel tool shaped like a semi-circular spoke-shaver, used for hollowing the staves before cutting the groove with a croze.
Cooper’s Jointer: Is a large plane, about 4 ft. long, one end of which rests on the ground, with the other supported by tressel-legs (called jointer legs) on which the cooper planes up the staves, so that they make a perfect joint when driven tight by hoops. On the jointer the cooper planes the staves so that they taper slightly at each end, thus giving the cask a smaller diameter at the ends than in the “belly” or (bilge) of the cask.
Cooper’s Screw: A tool used for clamping and holding together the pieces forming the head of the cask when pulling them into position.
Croze: Is the tool used for cutting the groove in the chimes (or chimbs) of a cask, into which the head is fitted.
Croze: Is also used as applying to the actual groove, which this tool cuts, in the staves of casks (this use of the word is restricted to certain districts).
Cooper’s Swift: Is a plane used for smoothing and planing the heads of casks.
Down-right: Is a cooper’s tool for rough planing the outer side of the staves of casks.
Dowels: The wooden pegs used for holding together the pieces of wood, or staves which compose the head of the cask.
Dowel Bits: The steel brace and bits, for boring the holes to receive the dowel pegs.
Flagging Iron: The tool used for putting the rushes, or flags, into place between the joints of staves, or joints of the head of a cask.
Fret: A strong gimlet for boring casks for drawing a sample of the contents, also called a “tryer.”
Frow: A cooper’s term applied to staves when the wood is short in the grain, and the chimbs easily break off. (Possibly derived from the Dutch word “vrouw.”)
Gun: Is a term used for a cask partly made, in which the staves have been fitted into position, but the cask has not been “chimed” or “crazed.”
Heading Knife: Is used for cutting the heads into circular shape.
Lord: A term of contempt amongst working coopers for a new cask, which when turned out by the cooper does not stand perfectly upright. Presumably has acquired the name from “Drunk as a Lord” —casks made by coopers’ apprentices are usually referred to with contempt, as “Lords.”
Shakes, or Shooks, or Cases: Staves made and fitted into the shape of a cask, but with only one end chimbed and crozed. They are broken down, and used for repairing casks, where one or more staves have been broken.
Trusses: Wooden hoops made of ash used for driving down the staves when first bringing them together into the shape of a cask or shook. In order that the staves will more easily bend, a small fire is made in a cooper’s cresset, or open fire basket, while the trusses are being driven down the shook.
Topping Plane: Is a semi-circular plane for rounding the top of the staves.
Hops: Apparently were not used in brewing in Anglo-Saxon times, and according to Edward Skeaty White, are not indigenous to this country, but were introduced into England about the year 1400, probably from Holland, as the word appears to be Dutch and in Holland is still called “Hop”—(German —Hopfen.) Anglo-Saxon Beer, or ale, appears to have been flavoured with worm-wood, chamomile flowers, cloves, and other sweet herbs.
According to the same authority, the use of hops had become so general in the year 1428, that a petition was sent to Parliament, asking that the use of hops in brewing beer should be prohibited in all towns and cities.
The use of hops in brewing being a “recent innovation,” we do not find many technical words of Anglo-Saxon origin.
The Oast: Or hop-drying kiln, however connected with the Anglo-Saxon word “ast”—was probably originally a kiln for drying malt, as well as hops. The floor of the kiln is known as the “hair,” being made of open woven horse-hair cloth, supported on laths of wood.
Young plants of hops are called “sets”, and after the first year are called “hills,” the roadway between the “hills” is called the “alley.” About March, the “hills” are dressed, i.e., they are hoed round, and the young shoots cut back, and the old bine cut away, when the shoots have again grown long enough, they are “twiddled” round the strings or poles. If there is an excessive leaf growth the lower leaves are stripped up to 3-4 feet, when about 14 to 16 feet high, the “pins” appear, which is the stalk on which the young hops, or burrs eventually grow. The hops are picked into a “bin” and then put into “pokes,” or sacks, which hold about ten bushels measure)—the “pokes” are then carted to the “oast” to be opened and spread on the hair of the “oast” for drying.
During growth, the* hops are attacked by “fly” i.e., the ordinary green smother fly, the natural enemy of the “fly” is the “nigger,” or Ladybird in its early stage of development, which preys on the “fly,” but if the “fly” increases, the hops are “washed,” or sprayed with an antiseptic solution, which kills the “fly,” and also the “nigger.”
Hops, picked the first year after the “sets” have been planted, are called “babies.”
English hops are packed in “pockets,” apparently from a word of French origin “pochette.” The word pocket is also used as applying to any large sack, e.g., wool-pockets, rice-pockets, etc., although one would expect a word ending in “et” or “ette” to be a diminutive term, this does not appear to be so in the case of ” hop-pocket.”
Many old terms are dropping out of use, but new terms and expressions seem to be cropping up. Many of these start as slang expressions, but they soon become recognized words owing to their general use, and many are found in standard Dictionaries.
For example :—
Boot-Legging: A word started in America about 20 years ago. when some of the States declared for Prohibition, and others remained “wet.” or partly wet, i.e., to say, allowed wines and beers, but not spirits. Alcoholic drinks were constantly being smuggled into the Prohibition States by people carrying bottles in their high-top boots. These high-top boots, or gum-boots, have been general in America for many years, particularly in the rural districts, and bottles were made, which fitted between the leg and the boot. Today, “boot-legging,” has become a general term for smuggling alcoholic liquor, into Prohibition areas, or Prohibition countries.
Bone Dry: Is applied to those American States which first allowed beer and wine to be consumed, but after the enaction of total prohibition, were said to go ” bone-dry.” The expression “Bone-dry” is used in the Eastern Counties to denote lazy, tired, or bone-sore.
Bucket-shop: A private office as distinct from an Exchange, where transactions in grain, stocks and shares, take place, when there is no intention to deliver, but only to settle by paying, or receiving, a monetary difference. Is said to have started in Chicago in the early days of the Exchange, when transactions of less than 5,000 bushels were not allowed to take place on the regular floor of the Exchange, but a separate room in the basement of the Exchange, was set aside for the smaller dealers. When business became dull, the regular brokers would send down into the basement, and get a “bucketful” of these small operators to join together, so as to make up a quantity of 5,000 bushels. This lower room consequently became known as the “bucket-shop,” and the word has since become applied to a private office dealing in grain, stocks, and shares of a speculative character where there is no intention to make actual delivery, and has thus acquired rather a bad meaning.
BULLS and BEARS—
Bulls: Those who buy, anticipating that prices will go higher.
Bears: Those who sell, for forward delivery, anticipating that prices will go lower, and that they will be able to cover forward sales at lower prices. The origin is doubtful. “Bear” may have been “bare,” or “short,” but this would not account for bull being the reverse. A more likely explanation is that the terms originated when, the sports of “bull-baiting” and “bear-baiting” were common in this country, and in Spain.
Cocktail: An American word for a short strong drink, made (originally) from brandy, gin, angostura, and lemon, and served cold by being shaken up with broken ice. Today cocktails consist of various mixtures, according to the fancy, or skill of the mixer.
Originally, cocktails were served hot, and were started by an incident in the American War of Independence. At an old inn at Val-Halla, Westchester County, New York State, behind the American lines, the land lady used to regale the American officers in the evening with hot drinks. One evening the officers returned from the front line very depressed, as everywhere the fighting was going against them. To cheer them up, the landlady made an extra large jug, of hot mixed drink, and added new ingredients, and also stuck several cocks feathers into the jug. It was pronounced better than any drink she had provided before, and from that time onward, the fortunes of the American Army prospered, and whenever things had gone well for them during the fighting, the officers called for the special drink with the cock’s feathers in the jug. Hence these drinks became known as “cocktails.”
Clink or Clout, or Tommy Clink: A term for old strong ale, kept in “stinker,” or fusty casks, or which had gone sour and could not be sent out to the trade. Sometimes called “returns,” but “clink,” seems to be applied more to the stronger -ales, which have been returned. In Scotland the word “pundi” and at Falkirk the word “mirlees” is used in this sense.
Fire Water: The Red Indians’ name for whisky. It has come to mean in America and Canada new raw whisky or new spirits of any kind.
High-Jacker: An American term for a kind of highwayman, who attacks boot-leggers and forcibly takes their smuggled liquor. As the bootlegger is carrying on an illegal trade lie cannot claim the protection of the law, or take action against the high-jacker for highway robbery or stealing.
Neckun, Sinkum, Swankum: The three drafts into which a jug of beer is divided—an old East Anglian term, and probably the forerunner of the expression used today of “necking a drink,” i.e., drinking quickly.
Nog: A strong ale peculiar to Norwich, but the probable origin of egg-nog, i.e., strong ale and spirits with an egg beaten up in it.
Peg: A general term in India for a drink of whiskey; arises from the saying in India, that every time you take a drink of whiskey in India you “add another peg to your coffin.” The word chota-peg,” Hindustani for small peg, and the word “boroh peg,” Hindustani for a large peg, possibly translated better into modern English as a “single” or “double” whiskey.
Punch: A mixed drink made from five ingredients, viz., spirit, water, sugar, lemon juice and spice. It is derived from the Hindustani word “punch” —five, or the Sanscrit word “pancha,” meaning five. The word, however, is probably older than the British occupation of India, and may have come to us by way of Turkey or the Near East.
Ranten: A copper can in which beer is brought from casks in the cellar, and then poured into drinking vessels.
Rudle: Warm beer with gin, sugar, and lemon.
Shoe-pegg Barley: A term borrowed from California, which is becoming quite general in this country, as applying to barley of the six-rowed type, which is of poor, thin quality; it has been in use for some years in San Francisco. The idea is taken from barley of this kind, being like wooden shoe-pegs, which cobblers use for fastening on the inner soles of shoes or boots.
Shore: An Irish term for a drain or sewer.
Skjold: Norwegian term of salutation when drinking. Is quite frequently heard now, when any Scandinavians are present, and corresponds to our “good health,” or “cheerio!” The word originates from the time of the Vikings, who, when they had killed an antagonist, retained his skull, which they carried suspended from their belts, and used as drinking cups when drinking a friend’s health; they filled one of these suspended skulls with liquor, and clinked the skull with that of a friends’, and exclaimed “skjold!” This is probably the reason why, today, we clink our glasses, when drinking a friend’s health. Amongst the Vikings, a man’s standing amongst his fellows, depended upon the number of skulls he had suspended from his belt.
Speak-Easy: An American expression for a low kind of “night club.” A club where members can obtain alcoholic drinks any time they wish, if ordered in a whisper.
Teetotal: Preston, Lancashire, claims the distinction of originating this word about 1833. Richard Turner, who was a reprobate drunkard, suddenly turned a rabid abstainer, and used to make strong speeches in the market-place (locally known as the “Cock pit”) on Saturday night. It is said that he stammered a little, and, on one occasion, when very excited, said: “I am not a moderate drinker, I am a t-t-t-t-total abstainer!” From that time the word caught on, and became generally adopted, and is today found in most dictionaries.
“Wet” One’s Whistle: To have a drink; probably a corruption of “Whet the sickle”— a drink given to harvesters, as earnest money, on pledging an engagement to work during the whole harvest, in the same way that, when engaging farm hands for the year, at the Statute hiring fairs, they are given an “earnest” (called “enst”) of 1s. or 2s. 6d. to bind the bargain of employment—legally part wages paid on account for the year. Probably “wet” was used as a play on words, for whet, meaning to sharpen, i.e., to sharpen the sickle for harvest, and to sharpen the appetite for the harvest work.
Whip-Belly-Vengeance: Poor, sour beer— an East Anglian expression.
A number of commercial terms occur in contracts and agreements, the meaning of which are not always explicit, and the origins of many are of interest.
Bankrupt: The position of a firm or of an individual unable to meet their or his payments, as they become due. The term originally applied only to banks who failed, and probably first used by the Hansa, or Lombardy bankers. From Banke —Bank, and Rupta—Broken.
Cash: Payments required to be made by “cash,” means legal tender, i.e., gold coin, Treasury notes, or Bank of England notes. Cheques are not cash, and while bankers’ cheques, or drafts, are usually accepted as cash, they are not strictly speaking legal tender. Copper coin exceeding 5s., and silver coin exceeding £2 are not, strictly, legal tender.
Chattel Property: Moveable or personal property, such as grain, household furniture, cattle, livestock, implements, etc. From the same origin as cattle and capital.
Debenture: A written acknowledgment or a debt; a deed of mortgage given by a Company for borrowed money.
Del Credere: Where an agent acts for the seller, and guarantees the solvency of the buyer in any transaction, the agent is said to take the “Del credere” risk of the buyer.
Drawback: Refund of duty charged on goods, in one country, when they are exported from that country, e.g., when beer is exported from this country, the duty charged is refunded, and called.”draw-back.”
Embargo: Occurs in grain contracts and charter parties, originally an Admiralty word, used in the forbidding of any exit or entrance to a port, but has become to be applied to grain held back from coming into a grain exporting port, when all the port facilities are already occupied.
Equity of Redemption: Legal term for a mortgage deed.
Garnishee: To attach a debtor’s money, by an order of the Court. To forewarn a debtor not to pay money due.
Immediate Shipment: A shipment within three days.
Jerque Note: A statement signed by a Customs House official, admitting that all cargo ex a certain vessel for a particular port, has been discharged at the port.
Lumber: A technical term for sawn timber, as distinct from logs, or timber which in producing countries applies only to standing trees. Foreign barley is often described as being damaged on passage by contact with, green “lumber.”
The word originates from Lombard Street, London, and has come to us via Canada and U.S.A.—the word originates from the days when the bankers came over from Lombardy, and settled in Lombard Street. They were glorified pawnbrokers rather than bankers, and advanced money on goods stored or pledged with them. Their storehouses became known as Lombard rooms, or lumber rooms, and gained the reputation for being disordered and unsorted heaps of goods. When the saw-mills start work, the sawn timber is thrown down in an irregular, untidy, and unsorted heap, and acquired the name of “lumber,” which has since become the commercial name for sawn timber of irregular lengths.
Mortgage: A conditional conveyance of land or other property, in which the property passes to the mortgagee, unless certain conditions are fulfilled, such as the payment of money, or interest by a given date.
Prompt: Has different meanings, e.g., “‘payment three business days before the prompt,” means that a bill of exchange must be paid, without recourse to the three days of grace allowed on such bills, although the payee will be allowed three days’ discount. Thus a bill at 30 days’ sight, and sighted, say, April 15th, must be paid May l0th—thus May 15th is the due date, but May 18th is the prompt date.
Prompt Shipment: Usually understood, “Shipment within 14 days,” although in certain trades prompt shipment means within 21 days, if shipped by sailing vessel.
Real Property: Fixed property, such as houses, or land, which are not moveable—as distinct from chattel property. Probably Re-al—” held under the King.”
Sabotage: Occurs in certain grain bills of lading, meaning wilful destruction of property by crew or rioters—literally, trampled underfoot by sabots, or wooden shoes; probably the word is of Norman-French origin.
Sterling: General name for British currency, said to have originated from Hansa bankers, in London, and who established the reputation for only paying out good money, at a time when much debased coin was in circulation. These bankers were called Easterlings, and their money “sterling.” In using the word “sterling,” they were probably adopting a British name, as before their time, viz., in the reigns of Edward the Confessor and William Rufus, we find “sterling”—a silver penny, of which 240 made the £ sterling. The name may have been from “starling,” the figure of a bird on the coinage of the time.
Tale Quale: Foreign barley bought on a C.I.F. contract. Tale Quale terms means that the buyer runs the risk of damage while on passage, the customary insurance, covering against a total loss only, although in certain circumstances damage during the voyage may be covered by the insurance.
Usance: A financial term, where Bills of Exchange are drawn for a forward date of payment, e.g., 30 days sight, 60 days date, etc. From the same origin as usury, i.e., where the drawer has the use of the money for a certain period.
Usury: Has acquired the meaning of an exorbitant rate of interest, and almost to imply dishonesty, but its original meaning was that of legitimate interest on money.
Dr. E. S. Beaven said that one of the earliest references to “Couch” as used in malting was by Markham, an agricultural writer of about 1720, in which he makes the interesting observation that he had heard of “malt makers who for want of looking at the couch and not the opening of it, it come, or sprout at both ends.” It rather points to the fact that two or three hundred years ago, when malting was almost entirely a domestic industry, they left the steeped grain lying in the “couch” for a long time and perhaps a good part of the work of making it into malt was done in the couch.
“Malt” itself, was derived from the Old High-German “Malz.” He could not recall any references to malting, or beer brewing in Britain, in the Roman days. It was evident that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them the practice of the making of malt and the brewing of beer, because the “Brauer” and his “Malz” were quite obviously old Saxon terms.
At Warminster, the oldest malting town in the West of England, which used to have about 100 small malt houses—his late foreman always used to call the man who made the malt, a “malter,” and no doubt “malter” was the male malter, and “maltster” was the female malter, just as “spinster” was the female spinner, because in those days of domestic malting a woman servant, was commonly engaged to “make” malt, brew beer, and bake bread.” (Thorold Rogers, “History of Agriculture and. Prices”). The old manor houses often had malt-houses attached, and probably the earliest maltsters for sale were the bailiffs of the village manors, who sold the surplus malt not required for the use of the manor, to travelling people, who brought it into the towns, before the time when brewing was more than a domestic occupation, or an ale house industry.
There is one very interesting word which Thorold Rogers refers to, and as to which he made a mistake. He talks about “drage” malt for which a price was quoted regularly in old Manor Rolls. The ordinary price for malt was in the 14th century . about 6d. a bushel, but “drage” malt, which he says was made from an “inferior kind of barley,” was always considerably cheaper. In Wiltshire and Somerset, the word “dredge” is used for a crop of oats and barley sown together, and looking up “Drage” in Murray he (the speaker) found the words “Drage” and “Dredge” both referred back to a French word “dragée,” with the same meaning as a Latin-French word, “Mixtilio,” and it meant any mixture of different kinds of corn sown together. So it seems that malt was often made from the mixture of oats and barley, now called “Dredge.”