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Do UK binge drinkers have more words for being drunk?

After a conversation with my student son who seems, like most of his friends, to pack away a fair amount of booze (certainly more than I or my friends did), it occurred to me that the British, as well-known northern latitude proud binge-drinkers, might have more words for being inebriated than the French. A quick trawl of the online thesaurus is inconclusive, but may suggest a wider variety of terminology in the English language.

So, here is my non-exhaustive list of words familiar to most British citizens:


Drunk, pissed (two most common), inebriated, intoxicated, tipsy, hammered, bladdered,  slaughtered, arseholed, smashed,  under the influence, blind-drunk, sloshed, plastered, wasted, under the table, tight, three sheets to the wind, legless, merry, shit-faced, rat-arsed, half cut, paralytic, ratted, squiffy, wrecked,  mullered, out of it, sozzled, boozed (up)

Less common

Tanked, potted, stewed, sauced, laced, totalled, leathered, lathered, addled,  canned, soused, welly'd, pie-eyed, steaming, pickled, blotto, stocious

OK, you may disagree with me on which ones are common or less common, and much depends on social class, age and region.

I'm afraid I cannot go into the finer points of the French synonyms for "ivre", but I did find this list of 44 words and phrases. Here we go:

Ivre, soûl/saoul (comme un Polonais), bourré, beurré, enivré, éméché, paf, brindezingue, aviné, fou, en goguette, imbriaque, pompette, émoustillé, cané, gai, mûr, pété, rond (comme un piron), ému, bituré, cuit, cuité, enragé, gris, mort, pinté, schlass, blindé, éperdu, exalté, grisé, pâmé, plein, avide, en brosse, fanatique, hourdé, parti, poivré, pompette, transporté, torchon, carpet

I have to confess that I only recognised five of those. I should read more. Thanks to Sylvie Rawlings for paf and pompette, Aurélie Hill for torchon and carpet and Alex Bellars for déchiré.


  1. Wow, brindezingue is an amazing word. And interesting new way of using ému. Did you know that Churchill used to wear silk underwear the colour of "cuisse de nymphe émue"

  2. Thanks for your comment. Oddly, I did not know that Churchill fact!


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