Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Annals of peevology: "Nightcap"

OK, it's not really a peeve, but this entry from John Russell Bartlett's "Dictionary of Americanisms" (1848) caught my eye:
NIGHTCAP. A glass of hot toddy or gin-sling taken before going to bed at night. When a second glass is taken, it is called "a string to tie it with."

"Come, now, Squire, before we turn in, let us tie the nightcap." -- "Sam Slick in England," ch. 3.
Could this be the origin of "tie one on"? I don't have time to check now, but I'll get back to it at nightcap time.

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