flight (of wine etc.)

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Mar 19 15:29:48 UTC 2008

On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 07:30:28AM -0700, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
> one of the staff at my local Gordon Biersch has asked me (as the
> resident linguist) about the expression "flight of wine" or "wine
> flight", for a collection of small samples of various wines, usually
> offered in a restaurant or bar; it looks like such a collection in a
> shop is most often called a "wine sampler" rather than a "wine flight".
> (the OED has a subentry for the relevant sense of "sampler", under the
> more general meaning 'sample', but with a cite for a "Vermont sampler"
> 'sampler of Vermont foods', illustrating "sampler" in the narrower
> sense.)
> i said it was pretty clearly a metaphorical extension of the 'group
> flying together' sense of "flight", and said i'd check the OED.  not
> in the OED, or NOAD2 or AHD4 or any of the on-line dictionaries i
> checked.  not discussed on ADS-L since 1992.

I should note that we have drafted an entry for this sense, though I'm
not sure when it will appear in OED Online. Our earliest evidence is
from the late 1970s.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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