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Alcohol

The origin of the name comes from the Arabic and is derived from "guhlu" (powdered galena for tinting eyelids and eyelashes). The Arabs called this "kuhul" and it had the meaning of "the most beautiful and finest". The term was then also used for liquids that were considered to be the essence or "spirit" of a substance. The Arabs are also credited with the invention of the distillation of alcohol (for medicinal purposes). From this is derived "Al-kuhul-vini", the finest of wine (spirit of wine). The natural scientist and physician Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the first to use the term "spiritus vini" (spirit of wine) for the result of a distillation and finally the terms spirit of wine and alcohol got identical meanings. Alcool" was first mentioned in writing in Germany in 1597.

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