from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A funeral feast; a wake: with reference to ancient Scandinavian customs. See ale, 2.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Tolkien once described "Beowulf" - and by extension much of Anglo-Saxon, or Old English, poetry - as "a drink dark and bitter: a solemn funeral-ale with the taste of death."
It was at old "Father Bluetooth's funeral-ale" (drunken burial-feast), that Svein, carousing with his Jomsburg chiefs and other choice spirits, generally of the robber class, all risen into height of highest robber enthusiasm, pledged the vow to one another; Svein that he would conquer