Storing human remains in a wine cask led to the expressions  "a wine has body" or "a nose"  or  "having some of the hair of the dog."  And  "a good head on the beer."

Read about Thorgrim Looseeker MacThoy, a sailor from the 1170s.

Origin of the word "Casket"

While out on the Crusades, most of the MacThoy enjoyed at best an ignominious burial.  Wealthy nobles, on the other hand, had their remains shipped home in casks of wine to preserve the corporeal form for internment in hallowed ground. 

The MacThoy seized upon this as an easy money making and liquor drinking opportunity and joined the Merchant Marines.


Initially, this began as a plan to con the nobles into hauling more liquor out to the Holy Land.  The wine would be replaced with water and the knight returned home. 

The lords' butlers were too astute for this and prevented the switch from occurring.   They also package their masters' remains in smaller casks-- which the MacThoy dubbed "caskette."  The word was shorted to casket to reference the small kegs.

Since they were unable to switch the wine for water, steal some of the wine, or get out of the contract, this began what was known in MacThoy tradition as the Wasting.

There are reports of caskettes being opened in England to discover they did not contain wine and a dead overlord but held only a terribly dehydrated MacThoy desperate for the loo.

Last modified: October 01, 2005

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