One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †morbid craving for alcohol, dipsomania (obsolete). In later use: excessive consumption of water, polydipsia; (also) water intoxication, especially when caused by excessive consumption of beer.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Mayne (1808–1868). From ancient Greek ποτόν drink, use as noun of neuter of ποτός drinkable (from an ablaut variant ( o -grade) of the Indo-European base of πίνειν to drink + -τός, suffix forming verbal adjectives) + -mania.
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