Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Aug 12 08:40:47 UTC 2001

Lately the question of the etymology of "punch" [the drink] came up. Can
one of the scholars fill me in on the OED's latest opinion, or on any new

My OED seems to pooh-pooh the possibility of an origin from some language
like Hindi, something like "pancha" = "five". But lately I see this Indian
origin favored by the "Concise Oxford" dictionary (quoted on the Web) as
well as by AHD, M-W, etc.

Apparently Spanish/Portuguese "ponche", German "Punsch", etc. derive from
English, right?

What about Japanese "ponzu" = "citrus juice" or so: a false cognate, or
from Portuguese, or what? Does "ponzu" appear in the OED? Apparently ponzu
sauce is now well known -- approx. 1700 hits with Google -- apparently soy
sauce + vinegar + citrus juice, essentially. (Occasionally spelled "ponsu"
-- error, I think.)

-- Doug Wilson

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