The word “alcohol” probably comes from an Arabic word for an ancient powder used as an eye makeup. The original word “al-ghawl” also gave us the English word “ghoul” and can trace the etymology of calling alcohol “spirits.”

(Condensing the powder into a useable makeup caused a distillation of sorts, and those that breathed the vapors were thought to be possessed by supernatural beings (spirits), similar to the effects of being drunk.)

VIAS Encyclopedia (source)

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