Does the word booze generally refer to ALL alcoholic beverages, or mostly 'hard' liquor? Do the differences depend on geography?
Some badly needed context:
I am a native speaker living and working in Latin America for the last 35 years.
For the sake of argument...let's say that recently we hosted a reception/dinner party at our home for colleagues from around the world.
Participants asked if they should bring anything: I half-jokingly texted, "Yeah...bring some booze."
Everyone brought beer, or some imported Chilean plonk, but an American brought a bottle of Johnny Walker.
I said to her, "You did not need to go to the expense; some wine or beer would have been great."
And she said, "You said "booze".
When I left the US 35 years ago, the term mostly applied to cheap liquor intended for the consumption by homeless alcoholics (read "street bums").
However, it now seems that there has been some kind of semantic shift over the last 4 decades...
Cambridge online says:
...and Lexico says:
On the other hand, Farlex Free Dictionary has it as:
1. a. Hard liquor. b. An alcoholic beverage.
...and a learner's website says:
- an alcoholic beverage that is distilled rather than fermented
Urban Dictionary (sorry)
An alcoholic beverage, specifically any type of beer. It doesn't matter which.
Merriam Webster says
especially : hard liquor
any alcoholic beverage; whiskey.
There is a pretty wide divergence in the primary meanings of the word, and it is quite confusing to someone depending on a single dictionary definition.
Does the usage of the word refer mainly to cheap alcohol, and does it depend on the origin of the English speaker?
Has the meaning changed over time? Or is it universally understood to mean ANY type of alcohol, including fine wine or even sacramental wine. (sorry if I offend for the reductio ad absurdum)