BBC – Culture – English has 3,000 words for being drunk



Dry January is almost over, and temporary teetotallers everywhere will soon be back on the booze. That word ‘booze’ tends to conjure up a certain amount of slurring, with perhaps a swig of decadence thrown in. It also sounds distinctly modern. It is, in fact, over five centuries old, having slipped into English from the Dutch word buizen, to drink to excess. It gets an early mention in the Elizabethan play Jack Drum’s Entertainmentand the pithy statement ‘You must needs bouze’ – a sentiment with which few of January’s hydropots (one term for water-drinkers) would disagree.




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