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Whisk[e]y | So, what's in a name?

Late one night recently, I was keeping myself awake by thinking about all of the details for launching "Whisky Toast" and it occurred to me that there are at least two ways to spell "Whisky". At the time I had always defaulted to adding an "e" on the end for "Whiskey", without even thinking about it. Those of you who have ever purchased a website domain, or tried their hand at marketing, or search engine optimization, can probably understand why I was having trouble sleeping with this idea. So I rolled over in bed to grab my phone off the nightstand and started learning.


It turns out that Canada, Scotland, and the majority of the world will use "Whisky". It's our friends in the United States and Ireland who chose to spell their whisky with an "e" on the end. There are even two schools of thought on the matter; one is that that spelling should change based on the intended audience or the personal preference of the author (much like color and colour), the other way to approach this is that the spelling should reflect the style or actual origins of the spirit being described. At the end of the day, we must agree to use whatever the label on each bottle has quoted respectively, this is the proper name for that product and should not be altered.


The actual word "whisky" (or whiskey) has roots in the classical Gaelic language, the word "uisge" (or uisge) meaning "water". There are some great videos available on YouTube for us to learn how uisge is actually pronounced, and with a lot of Irish or Scottish words (or distilleries), sometimes it can be nearly impossible to hear the word in my head. To get it right the first time my suggestion is to hear it spoken first.

Distilled alcohol was known in Latin as aqua vitae ("water of life"). This was translated to Old Irish as uisce beatha ("water of life"), which became uisce beatha in Irish and uisge beatha [ˈɯʃkʲə ˈbɛhə] in Scottish Gaelic. - Wiki


As a proud Nova Scotian (AKA New Scotland) it only felt right to recognize and adjust to the Scottish/Canadian way of spelling. Long story short, it doesn't matter how you spell it at all. I'm just excited to share what I learned on this night, and I still had to buy domains for both spellings to launch the upcoming website. With everything pointing to the domain, as a gentle nod to my heritage.