Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tumblers & Goblets

The difference between tumblers and goblets came up recently.  Here is the Oxford English Dictionary on the subject:

6.a. A drinking cup, originally having a rounded or pointed bottom, so that it could not be set down until emptied; often of silver or gold; now, a tapering cylindrical, or barrel-shaped, glass cup without a handle or foot, having a heavy flat bottom.

1.c. A glass with a foot and stem, as distinguished from a tumbler.
Marked ‘U.S.’ in the Century Dict,; but current in England in tradesmen’s price lists.

As you can see, a cocktail glass or a Champagne flute would be a goblet, while a highball glass or old-fashioned glass would be a tumbler – technically-speaking.  That original tumbler design must have been fun, even though increased intoxication would have been the consequence!

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