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Stingo is a dark strong bitter beer, supposedly named from the sharpness of its taste. It is a term of some antiquity (it first occurs in Thomas Randolph's play Hey for Honesty (1635): ‘Come, let's in, and drink a Cup of stingo!’) now rather on the decline. In The Englishman's Food, 1939, J. C. Drummond and Anne Wilbraham quote this verse from an eighteenth-century print showing St. George impaling a steak on his spear:Behold your Saint with Gorgeous English Fare,Noble Sirloin, Rich Pudding and Strong Beer.For you my Hearts of Oak, for your Regale,Here's good old English Stingo Mild and Stale.In the 1920s it enjoyed a brief vogue as a humorous equivalent of ‘vim or vigour’: ‘to keep in trim and add stingo to your efforts in sport’ (Daily Telegraph, 19 July 1927).

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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