The Arnold Palmer Makes the Dictionary


It has been two years since golf great Arnold Palmer passed away, but one of the things he’s known for is finally receiving recognition in the dictionary.

When you think of Arnold Palmer, you probably think of an incredible career in golf.

You may also think of his signature drink. The Arnold Palmer is a drink that consists of a mix of iced tea and lemonade.

Merriam-Webster has added Arnold Palmer — the drink, not the man — to its dictionary.

Palmer definitely wanted things his way. There’s even an interesting story surrounding his famous, highly-legible signature. According to his website, he was adamant that his autograph should be easy to read:

“What’s the point of signing something if the person can’t read it or later can’t even remember who it was.”

He even managed to convince some of his colleagues in the golf world to work on their penmanship when it came to signing autographs for fans.

But as for the famous drink named for him, that was far less intentional. In fact, it was something of a fluke.

As the story goes, it was the late 1960s — half a century ago — and he was having lunch after working on a golf course. He asked the waitress for an iced tea with about a third of the glass filled with lemonade.

A nearby diner apparently heard the request, and when the waitress next moved to her table, she asked for “an Arnold Palmer.” Palmer himself and those he was dining with turned to look at the woman in time to hear her explain to the waitress that she wanted what Palmer had ordered.

Thus, the drink’s name was born.

As for Palmer himself, he never really got used to ordering his namesake by name, according to an interview he gave CNN.

“I was embarrased to ask for an Arnold Palmer,” he said. “I always said, ‘Can I have an iced tea and put about a third of it in lemonade?’ And they said, ‘Oh, you want an Arnold Palmer!’”

I don’t drink unsweetened tea, so for me, enjoying Palmer’s drink depends on how sweet the tea and how sweet the lemonade are: sometimes, if the lemonade’s too sweet, it makes the concoction taste like syrup. If it’s not sweet enough, it makes the sweet tea bitter.

I’ve had a few that were very good…but that’s not normally the norm for me.

At least now, there’s one more reason in the books to remember Palmer! 

Have you ever had an Arnold Palmer?

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.