Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Where did the word 'shandy' come from?
After a friend asked the question and we couldn't find the answer, apart from uncovering that the original word for the beer/lemonade/ginger-ale concoction was 'shandygaff', Coast listeners came to the rescue.
Here's one comprehensive explanation....the drink and its name originated in England and dates back to at least the late 19th century. The name comes from the London slang for a pint of beer, 'shant of gatter' (shanty being a public house, gatter meaning water). The ginger ale serves as a flavoursome way to water down the strength of the beer, thus the literal translation, 'pub water'.
In the first chapter of The History of Mr. Polly, H. G. Wells describes a shandygaff as being, "two pints of beer and two bottles of ginger beer foaming in a huge round-bellied jug."
The beer is now usually diluted with lemonade and is now simply known as a shandy.
Today the term 'Shandygaff' is still used in the Caribbean.
Another explanation - shandy, comes from the german term 'schande'.
Thanks to everyone who got out there and researched for me - and I hope the bartender who once asked me "what's a shandy", listens to Coast!
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