Wednesday, April 18

I'll have a pint of 70, please...

Dear Angus,

What does it mean when a person ordering a beer asks for a pint of 60? I'm familiar with the term pint, but become confused with the use of the number 60. Is this some kind of secret code?


Dear Baffled,
The number used when ordering a pint stems from the old form of beer classification. Shillings of duty (tha' British fer tax) were payable on each barrel of beer/ale. Tha' stronger tha' ale, tha' higher tha' duty. Today this system is purely fer tha' character indication of the beer/ale, rather than tha' amount of duty ta be paid. 60 shilling is a light beer, 70 shilling t'was a heavy, an' 80 shilling t'was an export. Today tha' word 'shilling' is implied rather than stated, as in, "Twa pints o' tha' 80, please!"


Tuesday, April 3

Oh, have a Pint Already.

Dear Angus,
Can you please tell me why the Celtic people are known for drinking? I’ve been challenged many times to down pint after pint, because my friends believe that since I’m Irish I should be able to. I’m not, just so you know! Please help.

Dear Please Drink,
Weel, to explain the Celtic heritage of drinking mass quantities of ale, beer, and whiskey would take much explanation of stereotyping, and a bit of mudslinging, suffice to say- ye’re stuck with it. Ta make ye feel a bit better about takin drink though, I can leave ye with this little ditty:
When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we sleep.
When we sleep, we commit no sins.
When we commit no sins, we go to heaven.
So, let’s all get drunk, and go to heaven!

I hope this has been a help to ye,


Scottish influence on the New World

Dear Angus,
My friend claims that the Scottish had little influence in getting the New World established, in comparison to the English or even the Irish! Can you please help me correct her?

Dear Proudly Scottish,
Well ye can tell your confused friend that ye are jestly proud of the Scottish heritage! The Scots an invaluable addition to the developing the new world! Their past experience of working in the harsh conditions of rural Scotland, combined with their hard-working Presbyterian upbringing, made them an ideal people to help build America in its formative years. The Scottish emigrants of the 18th Century were an educated group due to the Scottish Reformation, which had stressed the need for education, allowing every Scot the ability to read the bible. Scots arriving in the New World soon established universities, colleges and other educational establishments such as Princeton University During the mid-17th Century Scottish medical establishments were second to none. Many recipients of these teachings came to America, where their influence can be seen to this day! Why it’s known that in 1775 there were 3,500 people practicing medicine in the US, though only 350 or 400 actually held a medical degree. Most of those holding degrees had been educated in Scotland.
So there ye have a few facts to share with ye’r friend and I dare her to say that education and medicine were not valuable additions to the colonies!