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Strong as accafortis

Posted by ESC on January 06, 2001

In Reply to: "Accafortis" from archive posted by ESC on January 06, 2001

: : The archived discussion contains an unanswered year-old query about "accafortis," a so-called family word. This sounds like a corruption of "aqua fortis" (Latin: "strong water"), which means nitric acid.

: Thanks!

I saw this word in a book (see entry below) and it "rang a bell." I recalled that during my West Virginia childhood I'd heard someone say, "This coffee is strong as accafortis."

STRONG AS ACCAFORTIS - "Anything that is especially strong in flavor, taste, or muscular ability is 'stronger than accafortis' in the family of Kenneth P. Weinkauf of Athens, Ohio. Nobody in the family knows what it means." From "Family Words: The Dictionary for People Who Don't Know a Frone from a Brinkle" by Paul Dickson (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1988).