Cutty Sark

Not one of my usual post, but then again I am always fascinated by words – for example, the expressions “cutty sark.”  Many folks are familiar with that word because of the brand of cutty_sark_1whiskey. Others might know that the expression has an earlier origin – the whiskey’s name inspired by the legendary clipper ship “Cutty Sark” cutty_sark


But did you know, the name of the ship was inspired from an even older source?

Originally, it referred to ladies’ underwear. Here’s the story: “Cutty sark” comes from the now outdated words cutty (“short”) and sark (“shirt”). The term first appeared in an 18th century Scottish poem where it described a skimpy nightgown worn by a seductive but dangerous witch. The erotic power of that image somehow inspired the ship’s name, which in turn inspired the whiskey … and an almost-forgotten piece of lingerie remains hidden beneath both.

Thank you to the wordsmiths of Merriam Webster.


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