Saturday, May 19, 2012

They're back...

The lovely literates over at American Idyll are back from their pilgrimage, and with beautiful  evidence.  I will steal two photos from ruuscal and two photos from TW to whet your whistle.  Wet your whistle? Rev up the appetite?

Hold the breath.


-local flora

whipple cholla

elvis, doing his thing

The Canyon and the River are not theirs to own, of course, and both might argue that the images begged taking -- still, credit them their eye, their availability, their joy, their fun, Elvis, and Poncho.

Give the boys their due, is all I'm saying.

Smooches galore, you two (three, four?).  Cheerios and fruitloops!

Love from the Marlinspike Hall Gang

To Wet (Whet) your Whistle : Origin and Meaning

What does it mean if you wet your whistle?
The most common interpretation is to have something to drink, usually something alcoholic. More polite to say you are off to wet your whistle than to say you are going drinking.
Most references relate to a custom quite a few hundred years ago when drinking mugs had whistles that one would blow to indicate you needed a refill.
Some say the whistle was attached to the handle and became wet after the drink had been poured, hence to wet your whistle.
Other sources say the whistle was part of the mug, built into either the rim or handle. The result in both cases being a wet whistle. I went digging on the web and could find no example of Ye Olde Whistle Mug. Maybe I did not dig deep enough. The only examples I could find were replicas of whistle mugs on offer as curios.
By the way, the whistle part. It would appear in times past ones mouth and or throat were referred to in common talk as your whistle, which makes sense to me. To wet your whistle was to have something to drink. There is documentation that this was in use during the 1300’s. ( Maybe one wet ones whistle before you whistled, hard to whistle with dry lips. Maybe one wet your whistle before talking, something like a glass of water on a speakers table)
So, the way I look at it, is that to have something to drink preceded the whistle on the mug concept. Maybe the one morphed into the other.
You will also find references to “Whet your whistle”. My immediate reaction was that whet morphed into wet over the passage of time. This is not necessarily true.
Whet per definition means either to sharpen something on a grindstone (whetstone) or to excite or stimulate a desire, interest or appetite. Starters at a meal are there to whet your appetite in stimulating the desire to eat more of something else. This is also a saying in its own right, first documentation however quite a few years after the Wet your whistle.
I did a very unsophisticated test on the Internet and Googled “wet your whistle” and had 426,000 hits, the majority directed towards drinking. “Whet your whistle” resulted in 421,000 hits, the majority of the answers related to stimulating further thought or experience processes.
Now you have a good basis to go scratching around for more information and draw your own conclusion.

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