E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Eau de Vie.
Brandy. A French translation of the Latin aqua vit (water of life). This is a curious perversion of the Spanish acqua di vite (water or juice of the vine), rendered by the monks into aqua vit instead of aqua vitis, and confounding the juice of the grape with the alchemists elixir of life. The same error is perpetuated in the Italian acqua vite; the Scotch whisky, which is the Celtic uisc-lyf; and the Irish usque-baugh, which is the Gaelic and Irish uisg-beatha. (See AQUA VITÆ.)