Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 945 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MEAD. (I) A word now only used more or less poetically for the commoner form " meadow," properly land laid down for grass and cut for hay, but often extended in meaning to include pasture-land. " Meadow " represents the oblique case, maedwe, of O. Eng. maid, which comes from the root seen in " mow "; the wind, therefore, means " mowed land." Cognate words appear in other Teutonic languages, a familiar instance being Ger. matt, seen in place-names such as Zermatt, Andermatt, &c. (See GRASS.) (2) The name of a drink made by the fermentation of honey mixed with water. Alcoholic drinks made from honey were common in ancient times, and during the middle ages throughout Europe. The Greeks and Romans knew of such under the names of 66p6 isXi and hydromel; mulsum was a form of mead with the addition of wine. The word is common to Teutonic languages (cf. Du. mede, Ger. Met or Meth), and is cognate with Gr. Ov, wine, and Sansk. mddhu, sweet drink. " Metheglin," another word for mead, properly a medicated or spiced form of the drink, is an adaptation of the Welsh meddyglyn, which is derived from meddyg, healing (Lat. medicus) and llyn, liquor. It therefore means " spiced or medicated drink," and is not etymologically connected with " mead."
End of Article: MEAD
HUGH MCNEILE (1795-1879)

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