What’s in a word?

I have never liked the word ‘booze’. It makes me bristle and also stirs up a bit of defensiveness. I remember a time a friend casually commented about another friend and I picking up wine for dinner with ‘you guys like your booze!’ I got defensive, because enjoying a glass or two of wine doesn’t exactly equate in my mind to ‘boozing’.

When you look up the origin (which is a fun thing to do for many modern words and sayings!), the word ‘booze’ comes from the Middle Dutch ‘būsen’ which means ‘drink to excess’. It then became Middle English ‘bouse’ and ultimately ‘booze’ in the 18th century.

If you google the meaning of the word, the examples of how to use it of course imply this ‘excess’.

  • noun – alcoholic drink – “I wonder where he’s hidden his booze.”
  • verb – drink alcohol, especially in large quantities – “I expect he’s boozing.”

Perhaps my defensiveness is a bit of insight in to the fact that I likely was indulging a bit more than I wanted to, and to have someone use a word that directly implies excess…didn’t sit well with me. That said, if I wasn’t having my own internal/subconscious thoughts about my relationship with alcohol, would it bother me so much? After all, what’s in a word? Other than a world of information and implication, that is…

Speaking of ‘booze’…although I have been completely lax on my goal of writing every day, I am at 2 months and 15 days no booze. I simply haven’t had a lot to write about and at the same time have been busy with work, reading books, a new hobby (crystal bracelets), a course in elemental magick that has homework, and spending time with friends. I’m completely okay with being the only non-drinker in social situations now…and although I’d love to have a glass of red wine with dinner sometimes, I’m also completely fine with having that be a de-alcoholised version.


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