Intoxicating English, handpicked by Zone

Taking a closer look at some very familiar phrases, acting editor Celia Plender picks her favourites from an alcohol-soaked Oxford Dictionaries blog post

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Sloshed, sozzled, mullered, muntered… no, we’re not describing a typical Friday night at Zone’s local. These are just some of the 3,000 slang terms that the Oxford Dictionaries blog has tallied up in connection with the word ‘drunk’.

We’re particular fans of its daily blog, so today we thought we’d share a couple of our favourite etymological items from the post on booze:

Tittery and tonic anyone?

You may be familiar with ‘mother’s ruin’, but have you ever heard gin described as ‘tittery’ before? Derived from ‘totter’ – the way you walk if you drink too much of the stuff – it was a popular term in the 18th century.

As drunk as a…

These days you can be as drunk as a skunk, but for the Romans the animal in question was a thrush. Like the 18th century gin drinkers, thrushes were often seen tottering around in the vineyards, having gorged on fermenting grapes.

Bottoms up

Finally, here’s a fact of our own: if you’re raising a glass with anyone Japanese, avoid the phrase ‘chin chin’. You’ll be referring to a certain male appendage.

Cheers!