Online Encyclopedia

PUNCH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 649 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PUNCH. (I) To pierce, perforate, make a hole or stamp a mark, &c., with a tool known as a " puncheon " or " punch." The verb is derived from the substantive; the original is Lat. punctio, a pricking, from pungere, to prick. This gave Ital. punzone, O. Fr. poinson, mod. poincon. Both these French forms mean also a cask, from which the English "puncheon," a liquid measure varying in capacity from 72 to 120 gallons is taken. This is probably the same word as that for the tool, and refers to a mark or sign stamped or " punched " on the cask. The origin may therefore be paralleled by the explanation of " hogshead " as referring to a mark of an " oxhead " branded on the measure. (2) To beat or hit, especially in such colloquialisms, as " to punch one's head." This is not the same word as (I) but is a shortened form of " punish," from Lat. punire, of which the ultimate origin is poena, penalty, from which is derived " pain." (3) The name of a drink, composed of spirits, water, sliced lemons or limes, or lemon-juice, together with sugar and spice, and served hot. According to the spirit with which it is made, it is known as brandy, whisky, rum punch, &c. Milk-punch is made of milk and spirit, bottled and served cold. The word is the English representative of the Hindostani punch, five (from the number of ingredients), and was introduced from the East.
End of Article: PUNCH
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