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Alienate is a verb that means somewhat what you would think it should mean, namely to cause to be alien.

If you look back at the entry for the word alien you’ll see that it means “with ale in.” So, for example, you might say “he has an alien mouth,” which would mean that the person you are talking about has ale in his mouth.

(By the way, when someone has an alien mouth it’s best not to make him or her laugh or, if you do, be sure not to stand in front of that person. If someone else is standing in front of the person with an alien mouth when you make the alien-mouthed person guffaw, the person in front of him or her might insist that you to pay the then beer-soaked person’s dry-cleaning bill.)

Thus, to cause to be alien, i.e., to alienate, means to put ale into. So, for instance, if someone is about to drink some ale you could say that he or she was about to alienate himself or herself. Likewise, a brewer might alienate bottles or cans, which means that he or she is in the process of filling them with ale, typically as part of the process of preparing them for sale to customers who will subsequently alienate themselves.

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