Beer words are geographical not genetic

BEER: Faeroese, English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian.

ALE: Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian.

CERVEZA: Welsh, (Basque), Spanish, Catalan.


LEANN: Gaelic, Irish.

PIVO: Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Serbocroat, Russian.

S?R: Hungarian.

This isn’t a complete set, but what’s very noticeable is that beer words in neighbouring countries tend to be alike, regardless of how unrelated their languages are. Thanks to Wikipedia for Bulgarian and Romanian, which I didn’t know, but at the BEER?PIVO frontier, I thought I ought to check.

Update (20110206): Garagardo, at least according to, seems to beat zerbeza. I feared it might have been invented by Sabino Arana and had never caught on in real life.

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