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 whiskey. Others might know that the expression has an earlier origin – the whiskey’s name inspired by the legendary clipper ship “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 Here’s the story: “Cutty sark” comes from the now outdated words cutty (“short”) and sark (“shirt”).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.