Slip Into Something Victorian

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Victorian Slang of the Week


benzine—inferior whiskey, 1862.  Also in hit the benzine, to drink in excess.  The chemical itself appears to be used in varnish, which may be why the term came to be used for whiskey.  From the research I’ve done, there was a period in the Old West when whiskey was made of anything they could find, including, possibly varnish.  Some of it looked pretty toxic.


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