The etymology of vodka isn’t crystal clear, but the word is a diminutive of water (voda) in some Slavic languages.
Quoth the infallible Wikipedia:
Another possible connection for ‘vodka’ with ‘water’ is the name of the medieval alcoholic beverage aqua vitae (Latin, literally, ‘water of life’), which is reflected in Polish ‘okowita’, Ukrainian оковита, or Belarusian акавіта.
It’s this “water of life” connection that makes it especially appropriate that an Italian tourist was saved by the stuff, according to the BBC. Resourceful Australian doctors put the tourist, who had swallowed poison in an apparent suicide attempt, on a vodka drip as treatment after their supply of medicinal alcohol was exhausted.
‘The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit,’ Dr Todd Fraser said in a statement.
That’s about 216 drinks, or roughly double what the typical UW-Madison freshman fraternity pledge drinks over the course of homecoming weekend. Buona fortuna with that hangover, anonymous Italian tourist.