wassailer


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was·sail

 (wŏs′əl, wŏ-sāl′)
n.
1.
a. A salutation or toast given in drinking someone's health or as an expression of goodwill at a festivity.
b. The drink used in such toasting, commonly ale or wine spiced with roasted apples and sugar.
2. A festivity characterized by much drinking.
v. was·sailed, was·sail·ing, was·sails
v.tr.
To drink to the health of; toast.
v.intr.
To engage in or drink a wassail.

[Middle English, contraction of wæshæil, be healthy, from Old Norse ves heill : ves, imperative sing. of vera, to be; see wes-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + heill, healthy; see kailo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

was′sail·er n.
Word History: Wassail is an English holiday drink consisting of spiced mulled wine, ale, or some other fermented beverage such as hard cider or mead. The word is also used as a verb: to drink someone's health, especially in the course of traveling around one's neighborhood, singing songs at neighbors' houses and receiving food and drink in return, is to wassail—as in the traditional carol "Here We Come A-Wassailing."¶Both the noun wassail and its associated verb come from one of the most popular expressions used in medieval England in toasting someone's health. The Middle English toast Wæshæil! comes from the Old Norse salutation Ves heill! which had been brought to Britain by the invading Danes in the 9th Century ad. The Anglo-Saxons, for their part, had a corresponding salutation, Wes þū hāl! which they used as a general greeting—variations of it can be found in Beowulf (Wæs þū, Hroðgar, hāl! says the young hero when he meets King Hrothgar) and in the West Saxon Gospels (at the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel greets Mary with Hāl wes þū!).¶These greetings and toasts literally mean "Be healthy!"—a sentiment that survives in the Modern English toast To your health! and in many toasts in other languages, such as the Spanish Salud! and the French Santé! which both simply mean "health." The Old English hāl, incidentally, means not only "healthy" (it is the origin of Modern English hale) but also "undamaged, entire" (it is also the origin of the word whole).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.wassailer - someone who enjoys riotous drinkingwassailer - someone who enjoys riotous drinking
imbiber, juicer, toper, drinker - a person who drinks alcoholic beverages (especially to excess)
2.wassailer - someone who proposes a toastwassailer - someone who proposes a toast; someone who drinks to the health of success of someone or some venture
admirer, booster, protagonist, supporter, champion, friend - a person who backs a politician or a team etc.; "all their supporters came out for the game"; "they are friends of the library"
References in classic literature ?
In the mean-while all the shore rang with the trump of bullfrogs, the sturdy spirits of ancient wine-bibbers and wassailers, still unrepentant, trying to sing a catch in their Stygian lake -- if the Walden nymphs will pardon the comparison, for though there are almost no weeds, there are frogs there -- who would fain keep up the hilarious rules of their old festal tables, though their voices have waxed hoarse and solemnly grave, mocking at mirth, and the wine has lost its flavor, and become only liquor to distend their paunches, and sweet intoxication never comes to drown the memory of the past, but mere saturation and waterloggedness and distention.
So to Idiot Savant and a Christmas guest list including a flautist, a trumpeter and a wassailer - and the return to stage right for popular PA guru Nathaniel Stephenson on guitar and vocals no less.
The boy had left the first door open while he went to the second, and Minus, the Neighborhood Wassailer, yesterday's confetti still in his hair, used this opportunity to slip inside.
A slice of toast was hung from a tree where it was blasted to smithereens by a musket-bearing wassailer.
The Elephant Up A Pole morris dancers perform the annual wassail at Ryton Organic Gardens to encourage a good apple harvest' A wassailer shoots into the apple tree as part of the ritual
On Saturday North East songsters Voice Male and the Coquet Wassailers will perform traditional, folk and folk-inspired Christmas music and on Sunday Coquetdale Chamber Choir will give a programme of music and poetry for Advent.
In sooth he was a shameless wight, Sore given to revel and ungodly glee; Few earthly things found favour in his sight Save concubines and carnal companie, And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.