A Drunk by any Other Name…

Reading Elizabeth Renzetti’s article, “Britain about to put a price on getting bladdered, legless and rotten with alcopop” in the Globe and Mail (03/24/2012) got me to thinking about the power of words.  She claims the Brits have more words for getting drunk than the Inuit have for snow.

To be drunk in England is to be:

“…bladdered, legless, parlytic or rotten with drink.”

Preparing to get drunk also has a language of its own.

“Preloading refers to the act of getting hammered before you go out to get hammered – that is, stocking up on cheap booze from the grocery store in order to be good and wobbly by the time you hit the bars.”

I’m willing to bet that each phrase has a story of origin behind it and a unique usage. Words are our main way of communicating. They are as important to a culture as water is to life.

Words for getting drunk conjure  distinct images of the result. What are some other terms? Surfing the Internet I found several sites with information, but spent most of my time at the Drunktionary site.  The author claims it is a, “shamelessly politically incorrect collection of slang terms for “drunk.” There are a kazillion terms. Here are a few I  liked:

  • A couple of chapters into the novel
  • All pink elephants
  • All schnozzled up
  • Anesthetized
  • Bamboozled
  • Been to Olympus
  • Betty Booped
  • Been too free with the creature
  • Drunk as forty billy goats

Each term gives me a different image of the drunk. Aren’t words wonderful!  …so that’s my wordy Wednesday post:)

Do you have any favorite expressions for getting drunk?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

10 thoughts on “A Drunk by any Other Name…”

  1. ‘Plastered’ is a common term in Ireland for being very drunk. Another is ‘off your face’. ‘Langers’ is another popular term, especially in Cork in the south of the country.


  2. “Three sheets to the wind” is one I heard growing up. For the life of me, I can’t figure where this comes from. LOL But you’re really drunk when you’re this way. Interesting post, Jo-Ann.


    1. Hi Marsha
      “If three sheets [ropes controlling the sails] are loose and blowing about in the wind then the sails will flap and the boat will lurch about like a drunken sailor.”
      An interesting image, but as a sailor not one I’d like to experience:)
      Thanks so much for coming by.


  3. It makes me want to go back and look at how I described my over imbibed heroine in my WIP. I’m sure it could be more imaginative. Thanks for spurring me on.


    1. Judy
      Thanks for visiting. Knowing how well you write, I’m sure your WIP is imaginative, but I’m glad you enjoyed the post.


  4. I have been sober for almost six years.. but when I did drink, terms I used were, “bombed” “wasted” “trashed” “sh*tfaced” “drunk” … definitely days I do not miss… 🙂

    Thanks for a great post!


    1. Darlene
      Six years. That is awesome. Congratulations.
      Love your terms, and the fact that you don’t miss them.
      Thanks for stopping by.


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