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Wassail (Way-SAYL or WA-sil) Noun: -A spiced ale or mulled wine drunk during celebrations for Twelfth Night and Christmas Eve. -A hot drink that is made with wine, beer, or cider, spices, sugar, and usually baked apples and is traditionally served in a large bowl especially at Christmastime. -Lively and noisy festivities involving the drinking of plentiful amounts of alcohol; revelry. Verb: -To drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way. -To go from house to house at Christmas singing carols. From Middle English was-hail, equivalent to was be (Old English wæs, variant of wes, imperative of wesan to be; akin to was) + hail or hale, in good health ( Old Norse heill hale); replacing Old English wæs hāl - be hale or whole. The drinking formula wassail (and the reply drinkhail ‘drink good health’) were probably introduced by Danish-speaking inhabitants of England, and then spread, so that by the 12th century the usage was considered by the Normans to be characteristic of Englishmen. Originally used around 1175-1225 Used in a sentence: “Excessive wassailing is strongly discouraged, as it can lead to imprudent behavior and surrendering to cacoethes.” Be wary of the waggish wassailer, for he may soon become wamblecropt and befilth your Wellies.


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