Yesterday we discussed a scholarly article on the F-Word, in F-Words, F-Bombs and Booze, Part 1. That post was long on discussion and short on examples, so here are several examples of approved labels, raising a similar term and topic. First and perhaps most famous is Effen Vodka. It’s possible the brand name refers to something other than what Potts is talking about, but somehow we believe they are thinking of roughly the same thing. As Potts explains, this term has always been mired in ambiguity, and that accounts for much of its power and popularity. The ambiguity also, we suppose, helps it get approved. Second is Fricken Beer, as above. Indian River Brewing, of Melbourne, Florida, is hoping you too will walk up to the bartender and say “Get me a Fricken Beer.” If you don’t get slapped, it might be refreshing. Third is Big F’n Syrah. It is a robust Yakima Syrah with overtones of the F-Word. We have a few additional F-Word labels but please let us know if you see others.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Cary Wiggins alerted us to a recent, scholarly article about, of all things, the F-word. His blog, called Meeting the Sin Laws, covers the intersection of sin, vice, alcohol beverages, and the law. Wiggins points to The Connotations of the F-Word. This is a post in The Language Log; it is a blog run out of the University of Pennsylvania since 2003. The post is by Chris Potts, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He wants to get a better understanding of why people tend to remain so fascinated with this term (and other “taboo vocabulary”). He wants to know:
Does it in fact have sexual connotations even when used as an intensive, as in Bono’s “really, really f-ing brilliant”?
Ed. note: F-word modified. It’s not an idle topic; the FCC needs to grapple with this and so does TTB. Potts applies some fancy academics to this not so fancy topic, with cosine measures, cooccurrences, fleeting expletives, formal linguistic theories, latent semantic analysis, and even rubrics of framing. He does not necessarily conclude that the term has much to do with sex. This topic has a fair amount of relevance here, because this terminology pops up on alcohol beverage labels more often than...Continue Reading Leave a Comment
It is no surprise that the anti-alcohol forces of yore regarded alcohol beverages as a poison. Professor Hanson confirms that the Prohibitionists “taught that alcohol was a poison.” More recently, this 2008 lawsuit is replete with allegations that MillerCoors is selling poison. But it’s quite another thing when the purveyors themselves brand their products as Poizin. The above is a Sonoma County Zinfandel from Armida Winery. A second example is Poison Wild Berry Schnapps Liqueur, approved in 2002. These are not to be confused with Christian Dior Poison Eau de Toilette, or this. Contributor Lance M. weighed in as follows:
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This Poizin, thankfully, will not kill you (well unless you are irresponsible and consume more than your fair share). Armida’s packaging of their Poizin is designed to draw your eye. The bottle is black with a red skull and crossbones prominently portrayed on the front of the label. The wine contained is a 2004 Zinfandel, though they continue to produce it on a regular basis, and other years are available. The thoughtful play on the words poison and zinfandel instantly draws your attention to it. There is some well written dark imagery of a supernatural winemaking process on the back label, that concludes with “Poizin, the wine...
Poteen has been around so long it was banned in 1661. But still, it has not been around long enough to have its own class/type. TTB has hundreds of categories (including the obscure such as diluted rum and dried brandy) but classified Knockeen Hills with “other specialties & proprietaries” rather than in its own category. Poteen is also known as Potcheen and is traditionally made in Ireland, at a high alcohol content. The name is short for the pot (“pota” in Irish) in which it is distilled. Poteen is usually made from barley or potatoes and this one is Grain Neutral Spirits with Natural Flavors, at 110 proof. The Irish Government has frowned on Poteen for many centuries (branding it as “moonshine,” as described on the back label here). But Ireland began allowing Poteen exports in 1989, domestic sale in 1997, and sought appellation status for Poteen in 2008. The back label says:
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Poteen … has been brewed as Irish strong moonshine for several centuries … Butler’s Irish book published in 1660 claimed that “It enlighteneth ye heart, casts off melancholy, keeps back old age and breaketh ye wind.”
TTB is still very strict about things like an age reference on the front label of a wine (requiring how long it was aged and in what). But these labels show, about as well as anything, that TTB has eased up substantially in other areas. In the 21 years before 2001, we find not one BITCH approval. By contrast, in the 7 years since 2001, we find not less than 65 BITCH approvals. We don’t see any great need for the government to banish this term, on adult beverages, but we do wonder why it’s so prevalent. There is Sexy Bitch above, Royal Bitch, Tasty Bitch, and there are many others. Where is the wine relating to cranky men?Continue Reading Leave a Comment
For all those occasions when Cisco or Schlitz Malt Liquor is far too classy, may we heartily recommend this fine almond flavored wine? Even if this is not a big seller in the US, this page vaguely suggests that this winery makes a similar product for export.Continue Reading Leave a Comment