Tag Archives: aqua vitae

Cassidese Glossary – Ski (Whiskey)

For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.

Daniel Cassidy, in his etymological hoax, How The Irish Invented Slang, claimed that the slang term ski (a shortened pronunciation of whisky), is really a contraction of the Irish word for water: ‘Ski is merely a contraction of the Irish uisce (cont. -sce), meaning water, which gives us the word whiskey, which gives us a cheap contraction for cheap whiskey – ‘ski.

Of course, Cassidy is right in saying that whiskey or whisky comes from the Irish or Scottish Gaelic terms uisce or uisge, meaning water, from the phrase uisce beatha, water of life, (as given in all etymological dictionaries of the English language), but it is quite obvious that ‘ski is a contraction of English whiskey, not of Irish uisce. If Irish uisce were contracted, it would be pronounced shka, not ski!