There are a ton of different explanations for how the Bloody Mary cocktail got its name, and nobody is absolutely certain about its etymology. The bloody part clearly refers to the tomato juice used in the beverage, but the Mary is disputed. It could be an allusion to Mary I of England, who had that nickname because she was known for executing a lot of Protestants. However, there are also stories that its creator, Ferdinand Petoit, was inspired to name it after a film actress called Mary Pickford, or after a waitress in The Bucket of Blood, a Chicago bar. To confuse matters even more, the drink first started getting popular at the same time as the musical "South Pacific", which had a character named Bloody Mary. Usage of the phrase Bloody Mary has been on a steady increase over the last six decades.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.