Once in a while, I hit the jackpot – c. 725 CE!
I was at the gym last Sunday. My Swiss friend and I were loitering by the supplement display and the "Whey Protein" caught our attention, mostly because my friend laughed about how she first thought she should pronounce "whey." So, of course, I had to look it up. It was one of my oldest words to date! Etymology is sure fun, isn't it?
1. a. The serum or watery part of milk which remains after the separation of the curd by coagulation, esp. in the manufacture of cheese.
c725 Corpus Gloss. (Hessels) S272 Serum, hwж. a1050 Rect. Sing. Pers. §14 (Liebermann) 451 Sceaphyrdes riht is, жt he hжbbe..blede fulle hwees oe syringe ealne sumor. 12.. Sidonius Glosses (Anecd. Oxon.) I. v. 34/3 Hoc serum, i. wee. a1250 Owl & Night. 1009 (Cotton MS.) Hi drinke milc & wei [Jesus MS. hwey] ar to. 13.. in Rel. Ant. I. 9/2 Cerum, i. quidam liquor, qwhey. c1400 Lanfranc's Cirurg. 200 A purgacioun with gotis whey. c1430 Two Cookery-bks. 56 Take croddys of e deye, & wryng owt e whey. 1549 Compl. Scot. vi. 43 Thai maid grit cheir of..curdis and quhaye. 1587 L. MASCALL Cattle, Oxen (1596) 56 See..that your cheese be well and close gathered, in pressing foorth cleane all the whay. 1600 SURFLET Country Farm I. xiv. 90 The whaie may serue for the feeding of the hogs and dogs. 1732 ARBUTHNOT Rules of Diet in Aliments, etc. I. 252 Of all Drinks, Whey is the most relaxing. 1791 SCOTT Let. in Lockhart (1837) I. vi. 183 My uncle drinks the whey here, as I do ever since I understood it was brought to his bedside every morning at six, by a very pretty dairy-maid. 1893 J. P. SHELDON Brit. Dairying xv. 163 On dairy farms where cheese and butter are made, pigs are useful to consume whey and skim-milk.
- Oxford English Dictionary