Saturday Night English!

Ah, another weekend, another opportunity to go to bars, kill brain cells and waste money.  Maybe you are the healthy sort (type) who is just sipping (slowly drinking) a mineral water.  Or maybe you are the type who is gulping down (drinking very quickly – gulp, gulp, gulp) rum and cokes which are so potent they have to be served in a titanium “glass”.  Either way, you could benefit from some vocabulary to express what you see or experience.  We will start with words for zero alcohol and continue to words for excessive amounts of alcohol.

Teetotaller: a person who does not drink at all.  This is an old word but is still used and recognized today.  A more modern version would simply be “non-drinker”.

A social drinker: a person who doesn’t drink often, but participates when others are drinking.

Sober: sober is the state of having no alcohol in your body or not being affected by it at all.  If you want to emphasize this state of “sobriety” you can use the phrase “stone cold sober”, but it is  a bit of an old expression.  Nowadays, many people would simply say “totally sober”.

Buzzed: to be slightly affected by alcohol.

Tipsy: like buzzed (above), “tipsy” means a little affected by alcohol.  “Tipsy” is a more feminine and refined word.  It would be used, for example, by your very polite, elderly (older) aunt after a glass or two of wine.  People still use the word today, but often in an ironic sense.

Drunk: a commonly known word.  At this point the effects of alcohol are undeniable.

Wasted: Now we are beyond (further than) drunk.  This is where things start to get messy (disorderly or out of control).

Shit-faced:  You probably suspected that this is a vulgar expression and you are right.  It is possible to go beyond “wasted” but it isn’t advised.  “Shit-faced” is when your start slurring (saying indistinctly) words and stumbling (almost falling when you walk).

To have the spins: If the room won’t stop going round and round (usually when you are in bed), then you have the spins.  It is like being trapped on a ride a Disneyland – very unpleasant.

To be hung over or to have a hang over:  The negative effect of drinking that you feel the following day is called a “hang-over”

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