Monday, December 14, 2009
Paul Dickson Defines "Drunk" for All the Drinkers
A definitive drinker's dictionary with illustrations by Brian Rea...
In the introduction, Dickson claims there are more adjectives for "drunk" than for any other word. Perhaps this is so; but, it is an interesting conceit with which to start a book about the state of drunkenness and its attendant effect on vocabulary. He buttresses his case with a reference to his Guiness Book of World Records record of the most synonyms for a word (2,231 words and phrases for drunkenness). It's been over 26 years, so naturally the list has grown.
Some of My Personal Favorites:
A piece of bread and cheese in the head
Materially Altered (courtesy of Punch magazine... awesome!)
Eyes like piss holes in the snow
...and, what might be an all-time great, owing more to the state of drunkenness it describes than the greatness of the word itself:
Swipy ("Swipy" is listed in The Slang Dictionary or The Vulgar Words, Street Phrases and "Fast" Expressions of High and Low Society (London, 1884) as a term for a more intense state of beastliness that comes beyond mild intoxication and before total fuddlement.
A great Holiday gift, to be sure.
(Click here to purchase Drunk)