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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

rum1

[ruhm] /rʌm/
noun
1.
an alcoholic liquor or spirit distilled from molasses or some other fermented sugar-cane product.
2.
alcoholic drink in general; intoxicating liquor:
He warned against the demon rum.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; perhaps short for obsolete rumbullion, rumbustion, of obscure origin
Related forms
rumless, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for rumless

rum1

/rʌm/
noun
1.
spirit made from sugar cane, either coloured brownish-red by the addition of caramel or by maturation in oak containers, or left white
Word Origin
C17: perhaps shortened from C16 rumbullion, of uncertain origin

rum2

/rʌm/
adjective rummer, rummest
1.
(Brit, slang) strange; peculiar; odd
Derived Forms
rumly, adverb
rumness, noun
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from Romany rom man

rum3

/rʌm/
noun
1.
short for rummy1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for rumless

rum

n.

"liquor from sugar cane or molasses," 1650s, shortening of rumbullion (1651), rombostion (1652), of uncertain origin, perhaps from rum (adj.).

The chiefe fudling they make in the Island [i.e. Barbados] is Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill, and this is made of suggar cane distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor. ["A briefe Description of the Island of Barbados," 1651]
The English word was borrowed into Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. Used since 1800 in North America as a general (hostile) name for intoxicating liquors.
Rum I take to be the name which unwashed moralists apply alike to the product distilled from molasses and the noblest juices of the vineyard. Burgundy in "all its sunset glow" is rum. Champagne, soul of "the foaming grape of Eastern France," is rum. ... Sir, I repudiate the loathsome vulgarism as an insult to the first miracle wrought by the Founder of our religion! [Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table," 1891]

adj.

"excellent, fine, good, valuable," 1560s, from rome "fine" (1560s), said to be from Romany rom "male, husband" (see Romany). E.g. rum kicks "Breeches of gold or silver brocade, or richly laced with gold or silver" [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1788].

A very common 16c. cant word, by 1774 it also had come to mean "odd, strange, bad, spurious," perhaps because it had been so often used approvingly by rogues in reference to one another. This was the main sense after c.1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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