Hungary water

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Alternative forms[edit]


Ellipsis of Queen of Hungary's water, possibly a calque of French Eau de la Reine de Hongrie, after its supposed origin.


Hungary water (countable and uncountable, plural Hungary waters)

  1. (historical) One of various early modern perfumes and elixirs made of rosemary, camomile or later lavender infused in various alcohols.
    • 1697, John Vanbrugh, The Provok'd Wife, Act V, l. 77:
      ...Your Bottle of Hungry Water to your Lady...
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, London: Heinemann, →OCLC, page 9-10:
      Certain unscrupulous men may call upon you here in your dressing-room. They will lavish you with flowers, with compliments, with phials of Hungary water and methuselahs of the costliest champagne. You must be wary of such men, my hearts, they are not to be trusted.