Just a quick list of 17th century euphemisms for being drunk…

From John Ray, A Collection of English Proverbs (1678).

  1. ‘Disguised.’
  2. ‘To have a piece of bread and cheese in your head.’
  3. ‘He’s drunk more than he has bled.’ (ouch)
  4. ‘Been in the sun.’
  5. ‘Had a jag.’
  6. ‘Had a load.’
  7. ‘To have got a dish.’
  8. ‘To have had a cup too much.’
  9. ‘To be one and thirty.’
  10. ‘Dagg’d.’
  11. ‘To have cut your leg.’
  12. ‘Afflicted.’
  13. ‘Top-heavy’.
  14. ‘The malt is above the water.’
  15. ‘As drunk as a wheel-barrow’.
  16. ‘To make indentures with one’s legs.’
  17. ‘To be well to live.’
  18. ‘To be about to cast up one’s accounts.’ (think about it…)
  19. ‘To have made an example.’
  20. ‘Concerned.’
  21. ‘As drunk as David’s sow.’
  22. ‘To have stolen a manchet out of the brewer’s basket.’
  23. ‘Raddled.’
  24. ‘Very weary.’
  25. ‘To drink until one gives up one’s ha’penny.’

    Getting raddled
    ‘Right, who wants to get raddled….’

5 Comments Add yours

  1. The guy I did my PhD on collected at least 56 euphemisms for being drunk in Gascon! Cheeky preview: “To talk in mixes, to raise your sail, to have a servant, to climb the vines, to load up the cart, to be fixed, or to suffer from perpite, a disease that normally affects chickens, can all mean being drunk. When Félix and his friend Duport saw a man asleep under a tree on Ash Wednesday, Duport suggested to the folklorist that Mardigras – the personification of Carnival – had hit him on the head. There was even a specific word for a drunk person’s vomit. … Figuratively, drunkenness was associated with being ‘bewitched’, ‘ripe’, and ‘full’. Drinkers have ‘wine noses’ and rosy cheeks. They even ‘sweat wine from [their] eyes’.”

  2. BuntyMcC says:

    Interesting that Radler (apparently meaning cyclist in German) is a mix of beer and soda and is being used to name various brews from small independent breweries in North America. For instance; http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/the-10-best-shandy-and-radler-beers-20150605

  3. ‘Had a jag’ could be revived today – I think I’ll start using that one. Great post

  4. kaleberg says:

    I’ve heard “on a jag” a number of time. I think it’s related to the usage of “jag” as in a “crying jag”.

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