Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ever wonder about the origin of the word hangover?

Neither did I until I read this article about historic cures. It seems as though the modern connotation for the one day flu didn't come about until late Victorian times. I guess with all of the modern, over the counter analgesics I would rather be waking up this morning then in by-gone eras:
The term "hangover" was born at the turn of the century.

"Around 1906 it become a common use as something leftover from the night before," said Rich. "It's actually the perfect word when you think about it, it just sounds right , like you're hanging over a sink in the morning, feeling like hell."

Whatever it was called, finding a cure has long been an elusive goal. The Ancient Greeks would engrave their wine cups with praises to the Drinking Gods. The Romans dined on owl eggs.

And there were other, even less appetizing cures:

"The Mongolians would eat sheep eyes," said Rich. "The Syrians would grind up sparrow beaks and mix that with water and drink it. Practitioners of voodoo would take the cork of the offending bottle and stick it with needles and try and stop it."

Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Happy New Year and turn on some


georoxrox said...

This is really interesting! Great blog.

Anonymous said...

I was told that a hangover was the result of attending a public hanging and having too much to drink.

Jackie said...

You're wrong. Hangover comes from sleeping on a rope.

Jackie said...

You're wrong. Hangover comes from sleeping on a rope.

Shly gra said...


MacNeill said...

Watched "VICTORIAN SLUM HOUSE, The 1860's" on PBS (aired on May 2, 2017). They showed an old photo of a group of men standing while hanging their arms and heads over a rope, presumably sleeping (but it may have been the result of over-imbibing the night before). They also demonstrated how people who could not afford a room for the night would sleep by sitting on a bench while hanging their heads and arms over a rope stretched in front of them, fascinating!

Daniel Sweeting said...

The term hangover has it's origin in Victorian Britain. Someone who, if after spending their money on alcohol could not afford a bed to sleep in and didn't have enough money to pay to use someone's floor to lie down on would take the cheaper option -that of hanging across a rope under the arms in a standing position.