Wishniak

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Aaron J. Dinkin:
Since moving to Philadelphia, I have observed that black cherry soda, at least in some brands (particularly Canada Dry), is labeled "Black Cherry Wishniak". I've never heard of "wishniak" before, though we have black cherry soda in Boston. Where else does "wishniak" exist, if anywhere? Someone told me that "wishniak" resembles the Polish word for 'cherry', I think, so that could be an etymology for it, at any rate.

-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
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Ben Zimmer:
[nq:1]Since moving to Philadelphia, I have observed that black cherry soda, at least in some brands (particularly Canada Dry), is labeled "Black Cherry Wishniak". I've never heard of "wishniak" before, though we have black cherry soda in Boston. Where else does "wishniak" exist, if anywhere?[/nq]
"Wishniak" or "wisniak" also refers to a semi-sweet cherry liqueur (e.g., ). The New York Times archive has advertisements dating back to 1938 for wishniak, under "Selected Wines and Liquors for Passover". A 1939 article on the World's Fair mentions a Polish restaurant that offers "calf's brains a la polonaise, veal cutlets a la Cracow and a cherry brandy (called wisniak) among many specialties."
On one forum , a Philadelphia Inquirer article about a soda bottler is quoted: "The black cherry is called wishniak, a Polish name picked up by Jewish-owned city bottlers like Frank's a century ago."
[nq:1]Someone told me that "wishniak" resembles the Polish word for 'cherry', I think, so that could be an etymology for it, at any rate.[/nq]
Polish does indeed mean "(sour) cherry". The OED lists the 18th-century term , meaning "a liqueur of the nature of cherry brandy", with this etymology:
ad. Turk. , Pers. cherry (with
corresponding forms in the Slavonic and other
languages of eastern Europe: cf. the note to GEAN).

Here's the note for ("the wild cherry"):
Some have suggested that the word may be connected with OSl. , Lith. , Romanian , mod.Gr. , and more remotely with OHG.
(mod.Ger. ), It. ; but this is very doubtful.
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Ben Zimmer:
[nq:1]Since moving to Philadelphia, I have observed that black cherry soda, at least in some brands (particularly Canada Dry), is labeled "Black Cherry Wishniak". I've never heard of "wishniak" before, though we have black cherry soda in Boston. Where else does "wishniak" exist, if anywhere?[/nq]
"Wishniak" or "wisniak" also refers to a semi-sweet cherry liqueur (e.g., ). The New York Times archive has advertisements dating back to 1938 for wishniak, under "Selected Wines and Liquors for Passover". A 1939 article on the World's Fair mentions a Polish restaurant that offers "calf's brains a la polonaise, veal cutlets a la Cracow and a cherry brandy (called wisniak) among many specialties."
On one forum , a Philadelphia Inquirer article about a soda bottler is quoted: "The black cherry is called wishniak, a Polish name picked up by Jewish-owned city bottlers like Frank's a century ago."
[nq:1]Someone told me that "wishniak" resembles the Polish word for 'cherry', I think, so that could be an etymology for it, at any rate.[/nq]
Polish does indeed mean "(sour) cherry". The OED lists the 18th-century term , meaning "a liqueur of the nature of cherry brandy", with this etymology:
ad. Turk. , Pers. cherry (with
corresponding forms in the Slavonic and other
languages of eastern Europe: cf. the note to GEAN).

Here's the note for ("the wild cherry"):
Some have suggested that the word may be connected with OSl. , Lith. , Romanian , mod.Gr. , and more remotely with OHG.
(mod.Ger. ), It. ; but this is very doubtful.
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Laura F Spira:
[nq:1]Since moving to Philadelphia, I have observed that black cherry soda, at least in some brands (particularly Canada Dry), is ... "wishniak" resembles the Polish word for 'cherry', I think, so that could be an etymology for it, at any rate.[/nq]
I always thought that wishniak was another name for cherry brandy - it's certainly the word my Polish grandpa and uncle used for it.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
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latet:
U¿ytkownik "Aaron J. Dinkin" (Email Removed) napisa³ w wiadomo¶ci
[nq:1]Since moving to Philadelphia, I have observed that black cherry soda, at least in some brands (particularly Canada Dry), is ... "wishniak" resembles the Polish word for 'cherry', I think, so that could be an etymology for it, at any rate.[/nq]
I'm Polish and - as for my taste - "Cherry Wishniak" - it's a tautology ;-)

In Polish:
wisnia = sour cherry (fruit or tree)
wisniówka = cherry liqueur (sweet, alcoholic)
wisniak = cherry brandy (more %'s)
wiesniak = a redneck, hick (usually an alcoholic, too :-)

I don't know how you, our Dear American Brothers,
pronounce "Wishniak", but I can imagine it sounds closer to "wiesniak" than to "wisniak".
Have a drink!
Na zdrowie!
latet
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Frances Kemmish:
[nq:2]Since moving to Philadelphia, I have observed that black cherry ... that could be an etymology for it, at any rate.[/nq]
[nq:1]I'm Polish and - as for my taste - "Cherry Wishniak" - it's a tautology ;-) In Polish: wisnia = ... cherry liqueur (sweet, alcoholic) wisniak = cherry brandy (more %'s) wiesniak = a redneck, hick (usually an alcoholic, too :-)[/nq]
When I was a teenager, my friend's father used to make a charry flavoured vodka, which was called something that sounded to me like "vizhnouvka". I know that he started with something called "Polish spirit". It was quite sweet, but lethal. The other concoction he fed us was called "jouzhembiak" (these are just my attempts to replicate the pronunciation as I rmeember it), which was not sweet, but would render us senseless very quickly.
I don't know what "Polish spirit" was, but it was easily available in England at the time.
Fran
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R H Draney:
latet filted:
[nq:1]I'm Polish and - as for my taste - "Cherry Wishniak" - it's a tautology ;-)[/nq]
Wonder how well it goes with shrimp scampi..r
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latet:
Uzytkownik "Frances Kemmish" (Email Removed) napisal w wiadomosci
[nq:2]wisniówka = cherry liqueur (sweet, alcoholic)[/nq]
[nq:1]When I was a teenager, my friend's father used to make a charry flavoured vodka, which was called something that sounded to me like "vizhnouvka".[/nq]
It's "wisniówka".
[nq:1]I know that he started with something called "Polish spirit". It was quite sweet, but lethal.[/nq]
I've never heard of the name "Polish spirit" in Poland, but I think that would just mean regular 96% Proof. spirit, or, maybe, some home-made kind of it.
[nq:1]The other concoction he fed us was called "jouzhembiak" (these are just my attempts to replicate the pronunciation as I rmeember it), which was not sweet, but would render us senseless very quickly.[/nq]
"jarzebiak" - it's rowanberry vodka.
BTW:
Why would that man need to render his chlid's teeanage girl-friends senseless with vodka?
Latet
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Frances Kemmish:
I think it's the 96% proof spirit. It was sold in England as "Polish Spirit". I am not sure whether he bought it at a regular store, or whether he got it from the Polish store, which was in a town some miles from our village. There were quite a few Poles living in our area, most working in the coal mines.
[nq:2]The other concoction he fed us was called "jouzhembiak" (these ... was not sweet, but would render us senseless very quickly.[/nq]
[nq:1]"jarzebiak" - it's rowanberry vodka.[/nq]
Thank you for the information.
[nq:1]BTW: Why would that man need to render his chlid's teeanage girl-friends senseless with vodka?[/nq]
That's a whole nother story.
Fran
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