The Origin of the Word ‘Alcohol’ and What It Symbolizes

The Origin of the Word ‘Alcohol’ and What It Symbolizes
The Origin of the Word ‘Alcohol’ and What It Symbolizes
October 31, 2016

Alcohol, the miracle stress relieving drink is a beverage that has intoxicated many across the globe. This wonder drink is now being resorted to as a quick and a full proof way to shed and keep aside all worries at bay. This beverage has been prevalent since time immemorial. This article outlines the origin of the word ‘alcohol’ and its symbolism in the bygone era.

The origin of the term ‘alcohol’ refers to a kind of fine powder

In the early 16th century, alcohol was a Latin term used to describe a powder in its fine state. Alcohol also has Arabic origin where the word “Al” means fine powder and the word “kohl” refers cosmetics for the eyes. This fine powder was used as an antiseptic and a prime component that goes in the making of eyeliners.

Read also: A miracle Chinese Herb to Cure Alcohol Induced Hangover

Alcohol was later referred to a fluid from distillation

In the mid 16th century, the word ‘alcohol’ referred to a liquid that was obtained after the distillation process. Later in the 18th century, it was categorized as a class of substances in the study of chemistry.

Alcohol has reference in mythology and astrology

In Arabic, the term ‘alcohol’ has reference to the mythological demon called Algol. This also has significance in astrology. The fixed star Algol which is a demonic or malefic star is present at 26 degrees in Taurus. In astrology, Taurus is the house which is responsible for sensual pleasures, revenue and deadly adventures. The presence of this deadly star in a native’s chart will make the person dishonest and a murderer. This evil star is associated with ghastly murder and this is another reason why alcohol is also referred to as “spirit”.

Read also: Alcohol can Cause Cancers and Accidents

Legend refers to ‘Algol’ as a head of a demon

Hebrews referred the term Algol to Satan’s head. In Chinese mythology, it was given a title ‘Tseih She’ which means piled-up corpses. In Greek mythology, Algol was referred to the head of the Gorgon Medusa who was beheaded by Perseus. The shining star of Algol was present in the head of Medusa. In Arabic, the word Al Ghul means those who are mischievous and has a lot of references in the tales of Arabian Nights.

Alcohol was symbolic in the medieval days

All the different cultures across the world had some kind of alcoholic beverage. The drink had a symbolic role and conveyed a message in the Medieval Age. In western countries, alcohol was a symbol of celebration and joy. In certain countries, certain beverages were consumed to convey the status of the relationship. The choice of beverage would decide the behavior of the person, either polite or intimate. In France, certain beverages were consumed only during a certain time and when the situation was appropriate.

Read also: Alcoholism may be Associated with Intestinal Flora

The choice of alcohol also symbolized the status of the consumer

The choice of an alcoholic beverage was determined by the status the person enjoyed in the society. Rich people were only allowed to drink imported beverages while the poor and misfortunate only had access to beverages that were available locally in the olden days. For example, in Portland, wine was only for the rich, whereas local beer and vodka were for the poor.

Gender based differentiation in the choice of drinks was prevalent

All the societies had a classification of beverages and there was a distinction based on gender. There were feminine and masculine beverages. Every masculine drink had a sweeter and less intense drink was designed for women. Women who drank were never considered habitual drinkers in those days.

The moral issues regarding drinking decided the layout of the house

In countries where drinking was considered a way of life had houses with huge windows and large open space where household members who were drinking could be seen. On the contrary, places where alcohol was not widely accepted had houses with smaller windows and sturdy doors so that the members of the household could indulge in drinking without letting anyone know.

Read also: Believe It or Not, Smartphone Apps can Tackle Alcoholism

Article highlights

  • Alcohol was derived from Latin which meant fine powder.
  • Alcohol also has its origin in Arabic.
  • It was later referred to a liquid obtained from distillation.
  • Later, it was classified as a class of substance in chemistry.
  • Alcohol was associated with Algol, a demon’s head in mythology.
  • Algol is a deadly star in astrology.
  • Alcohol was a symbol of status and celebration in the olden days.
  • Rich people were only allowed to drink imported beverages.
  • Classification of beverages was done based on gender.
  • The layout of houses determined the attitude towards drinking.

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