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stiff whiskey Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:52:07 AM

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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hello!

This is from "Ten Little Indians" by Agatha Christie:
The next minute or two was spent in
dispensing drinks. General Macarthur had a stiff whiskey and so did the judge.


What is "stiff whiskey"?
Thanks!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:58:58 AM

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A stiff drink is a strong alcoholic drink, undiluted by any mixers such as ginger ale or water.

A stiff whiskey is a glass that contains only whiskey.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
thar
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:01:30 AM

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Think of a girder
Stiff = strong, bracing, it gives strength, it has an effect.


Opposite
- weak, no effect, no point in having it!

Tfd
Stiff
Quote:
6. Having a strong, swift, steady force or movement: a stiff current; a stiff breeze.
7. Potent or strong: a stiff drink.
8.
a. Difficult to deal with, do, or meet: stiff requirements for admission; a stiff examination.
b. Harsh or severe: a stiff penalty.
c. Excessively high or onerous: a stiff price.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:08:37 AM

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Thank you, Sarrriesfan and Thar!

So it's non-diluted whiskey. But it does not connotate that the whiskey is "stronger than normal", does it? I mean, as far as I know, whiskies range from 40 to 55 alc.proof or even more, so "stiff whiskey" is not necessarily one of those stronger ones, is it?

NancyUK
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:04:42 AM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Thank you, Sarrriesfan and Thar!

So it's non-diluted whiskey. But it does not connotate that the whiskey is "stronger than normal", does it? I mean, as far as I know, whiskies range from 40 to 55 alc.proof or even more, so "stiff whiskey" is not necessarily one of those stronger ones, is it?



I'm not sure that I agree that a stiff whiskey is necessarily without any dilution. A neat whiskey is certainly whiskey with nothing added at all, but you could pour a double whiskey and add a splash of soda, and it would still be a stiff whiskey in my opinion.

I don't think the term stiff relates to the relative proof of different whiskeys - just to whether anything much has been added to it.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance. Ogden Nash
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:07:25 AM

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Thank you, Nancy, it's very clear now.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:12:15 AM

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Stiff whiskey simply refers to its flavor, that it is strong, and full-flavored.
thar
Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2017 1:29:37 PM

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Think
I think the nuance of 'stiff' is not really about the whisky - what was in it or how it tasted. It is about the reason for drinking it. You need a shot of strong alcohol.

For courage, to relieve your shock, another strong emotion, even to warm up quickly - whatever the reason, the subtext is about the effect you hope it will have on you.


If you look up any references to having a stiff whisky. I bet none will be in the context of relaxing and savouring the flavour. They will all be about needing an emotional jolt.


Eg
Longman's dictionary.
These are all emotional responses. Nothing to do with the actual drink.

Quote:
stiff drink/whisky etc
• A good shower helped, but she would have liked to go down and search for a stiff drink.
• Calm your nerves by deep breathing, not by having a stiff drink.
• Come on, you need a stiff drink.
• A couple of stiff drinks and a bowl of soup afterwards was about all I could cope with.
• When he got home he'd have a stiff drink and a long bath, followed by another stiff drink.
• I poured myself a stiff drink and tossed it down.
• Many people would rather have a stiff drink to help them sleep, than take a sleeping tablet for their insomnia.



In the context of the story,this is not about their preference in alcohol. It implies they were emotionally upset - shocked, ashamed, disappointed - whatever fits in context. They needed a stiff drink to settle their emotional turmoil.

Edit
I have just noted your quote had whiskey, with an e. That makes it Irish, unlike Scotch whisky.
Like the Mac question, the variation is possible because you are transliterating the Gaelic name usquebaugh, from uisge beatha, or uisce beatha - water of life. Whistle
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Friday, July 28, 2017 6:02:04 AM

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Joined: 10/4/2016
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thank you very much, Thar, this adds quite a new perspective. I will remember this nuance.

thar wrote:

I have just noted your quote had whiskey, with an e. That makes it Irish, unlike Scotch whisky.
Like the Mac question, the variation is possible because you are transliterating the Gaelic name usquebaugh, from uisge beatha, or uisce beatha - water of life. Whistle


Another jewel in my collection. Agatha Christie has it exactly as "whiskey", so she must have meant Irish :)
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