from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Same as eisel.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
AT Constantinople is the cross of our Lord Jesu Christ, and his coat without seams, that is clept TUNICA INCONSUTILIS, and the sponge, and the reed, of the which the Jews gave our Lord eysell and gall, in the cross.
I see no necessary connection between eating a crocodile and drinking up eysell; and to drink up was commonly used for simply to drink.
MR. SINGER quotes "_potions of eysell_:" a difference, if there be any, would mark the distinction between Hamlet's river and the Saxon derivative.] *****
Potions of eysell, "-- is not to his purpose; it is only an equivalent by the addition of the words" _potions of_ "to give it the same definite character.
Before we dismiss it, however, we must record in our pages the opinion of one of the most distinguished commentators of the day, Mr. Hunter, who in his _New Illustrations_, vol.ii. p. 263., after quoting "potions of eysell" from the sonnet, says, "This shows it was not any river so called, but some desperate drink.