Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Return of the Jungle

The origin of the term AB is unclear. The most widely quoted story has it that of Hiram A, an English soft drinks maker during the 1870s, who developed a technique for bottling lemonade. This process involved the insertion of a glass marble as a stopper into the neck of the bottle. When the bottle was shaken the resulting pressure from the fizzy pop forced the marble against the neck to form a seal.

The device was called, not unreasonably, the A Bottle.

B is a slang term for beer, and beer drinkers would certainly be disdainful of bottled soft drinks. This slang term dates from around the early to mid 20th century. Eric Partridge, in A Dictionary of Slang, claims it as serviceman's slang and dates it from the 1930s. An early example of it in print comes in J[ohn] B[oynton] Priestley's Three men in new suits, 1945:

"It's drink... Booze or B... Nine times out of ten... you wake up in the morning... with the usual hangover."

It's not difficult to see how a soft drink in a A Bottle could have come to be called AB.

9 comments:

Hariharan said...

goli soda!! ?

Tamizhmarai said...

I think this is Cod and Swallop, leading to Codswallop. But then I also think this is a peter.

Shazz said...

Yup, codswallop. Even i remember seeing it somewhere.

And it's called goli soda in india da...

patti said...

Point of the question being that jungle is slogging for some GMAT level exam..

jungle said...

@ Kutty.. stud answer.. im very impressed..
@ Tamiz.. Right answer.. I thought it was random, but peternu sollitiye.. Cha cha..
@ Shastry.. What a photographic memory man.. I cant help wishing I had the ability to remember seein everythin somewher.. (ps. you sure the somewher's not Google? lol)
@ Patti.. After CAT death I ve not even come back to life yet.. Adhukulla why patti why?

jungle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jungle said...

and btw.. It is Codd+Wallop.. Codd's Wallop.. And, Codswallop jus means nonsense.. Has nothing to do with Goli Soda..

the_ghost_of_christmas_past said...

so finally...what is the answer?

Shazz said...

Codswallop da.

@jungl - And yes, there is usually tendency to remember questions from events one attended. I think everyone has at least that much photographic memory.