Tipsy Parson (1848)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Apr 15 08:43:09 UTC 2003

   OED has "tipsy cake" to 1807.  In the U.S., it's also called "tipsy
parson," and this is the first I've seen of that name.  It appears derive
from these two stories in GODEY'S LADY'S BOOK.

March, 1848
Godey's Lady's Book
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vol XXXVI page 141



Ix a village not a hundred miles from Philadelphia, resided the Rev. Mr.
Manlius, who had the pastoral charge of a very respectable congregation, and
was highly esteemed by them; but there was one thing in which he did not give
general satisfaction, and in consequence of which many excellent members of
his church felt seriously scandalized. He would neither join a temperance
society, nor omit his glass of wine when he felt inclined to take it. It is
only fair to say, however, that such spirituous indulgences were not of
frequent occurrence. It was more the principle of the thing, as he said, that
he stood upon, than anything else, that prevented his signing a temperance

May, 1848
Godey's Lady's Book
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vol XXXVI page 257

Uncle John, after reading the little extract just quoted, opened the magazine
in another part, and said with a smile

"'A << Tipsy Parson>> !' Why what's this?"

All became silent with interest, and Uncle John read the story aloud. The
listeners were as grave as the assembly of deacons that sat on the case of
the Rev. Mr. Manlius, until the denouement came, and then there was as free a
gust of merriment as distinguished that grave body when the "<< tipsy>>
<< parson>> " at Mrs. Reeside's party turned out to be only a sponge cake
soaked in brandy.

"Capital!" said Mr. Martin.

"First ratw!" said William.

"A funny affair!" said Aunt Edith.

While Lilly laughed, more for joy at finding her Lady's Book so highly
approved, than at the humorous incident just read.

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