Thursday, July 29, 2010

How's this for a word? Piesporter

Before you read the definition and pronunciation, try to imagine what you think "piesporter" might mean. 

The word caught my eye in my inbox: I subscribe to the OED Word of the Day and this was yesterday's word. 

At first, I thought it might be someone who carried pies around ("pies porter"), or maybe someone who threw pies in some obscure sports competetion ( "pie sporting"--like the javelin throw, but tastier).  Then again, the "pies" part might have had something to do with "piety", which raised the question of whether a "piesporter" was some kind of cleric, or someone who carried sacred relics.

But look!  It's wine!  I like the citation about "piesporter, coffee and mints": it sounds like it could be a dessert wine or a breakfast beverage, depending on your frame of mind.

We'll see if it makes the next Bee list....

The OED e-mail is printed below, italics mine. You can subscribe to their Word a Day service at Send them a message saying "subscribe" and watch your inbox fill with interesting words.

Piesporter, n.DRAFT ENTRY Mar. 2009

Brit. /pizpt/, /pispt/, U.S. /pizprdr/, /pisprdr/ [< German Piesporter < Piesport, the name of a village on the Mosel River in western Germany where this kind of wine is produced + -er -ER suffix1.]

1. A white Moselle wine originally produced in Piesport, a village in western Germany; (now more generally) a white wine produced in the area around Piesport.

[1851 in C. Redding Hist. Mod Wines (ed. 3) viii. 230 The best vineyards..are those of the old Schloss (Castle), the Brauneberger, Pisporter, Graacher, Wehlener, [etc.].] 1867 F. S. COZZENS Sayings of Dr. Bushwacker xxii. 165 To pass..from Claret, Burgundy andüdesheimer, and even Piesporter, without a groan. 1902 Hatch, Mansfield Price List Oct. 21 Piesporter, elegant, with refined flavour. 1935 H. R. RUDD Hocks & Moselles xi. 143 When I had got into his cellars I found he had some really good things to show, Piesporter, of all varieties, and well made, too. 1991 Purchasing & Supply Managem. Apr. 40/1 Copious quantities of Piesporter, coffee and mints.

2. With various modifying words denoting the specific vineyard or area of production; esp. in Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Piesporter Michelsberg.

1937 Times 10 Sept. 1/6 Among a number of Hocks and Moselles listed in their wine list are 1929 Liebfraumilch..and Piesporter Michelsberg. 1985 Chicago Tribune (Nexis) 14 Nov. (Food Guide Section) 5 A 1983 Piesporter Goldtropfchen riesling about $12 a bottle. But a 1983 Piesporter Treppchen..riesling $7 a bottle. 1986 Listener 20 Feb. 13/3 If Piesporter Goldtröpfchen tasted like Brobat it would still command a premium in restaurants; in England, the best-selling German wine is Piesporter Michelsberg. 1998 Decanter Jan. 5/2 The caused by Riesling being associated in the public's mind with..virtually generic names such as Piesporter Michelsberg (often Müler-Thurgau).