I’ve done a little research and haven’t found the answer to my question, so please help. Where do all the bar/alcohol terms we use come from (like straight, neat, on the rocks…)? And more importantly, are you a rube if you still use them or a rube if you don’t?
Neat?! Who are you, Sinatra? While some descriptive is necessary to let the bartender know what you want, I’d only use terms like “neat” ironically.
A good place to learn about the etymology of such words is the Oxford English Dictionary. Also, Duke Libraries has several excellent slang dictionaries, including Barron’s American slang dictionary and thesaurus and Chambers slang dictionary.