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Ben Franklin's 200+ Synonyms for "Drunk"

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Today we're celebrating Ben Franklin's 308th birthday. If you're celebrating at home, perhaps one of these phrases from The Drinkers Dictionary will come in handy. The lengthy list of expressions meaning "inebriated" was first published by Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette on January 6, 1737. Feel free to add your own phrases in the comments.

First, a note from Mr. Franklin: "The Phrases in this Dictionary are not (like most of our Terms of Art) borrow'd from Foreign Languages, neither are they collected from the Writings of the Learned in our own, but gather'd wholly from the modern Tavern-Conversation of Tiplers. I do not doubt but that there are many more in use; and I was even tempted to add a new one my self under the Letter B, to wit, Brutify'd: But upon Consideration, I fear'd being guilty of Injustice to the Brute Creation, if I represented Drunkenness as a beastly Vice, since, 'tis well-known, that the Brutes are in general a very sober sort of People."

A
He is Addled,
He's casting up his Accounts,
He's Afflicted,
He's in his Airs.

B
He's Biggy,
Bewitch'd,
Block and Block,
Boozy,
Bowz'd,
Been at Barbadoes,
Piss'd in the Brook,
Drunk as a Wheel-Barrow,
Burdock'd,
Buskey,
Buzzey,
Has Stole a Manchet out of the Brewer's Basket,
His Head is full of Bees,
Has been in the Bibbing Plot,
Has drank more than he has bled,
He's Bungey,
As Drunk as a Beggar,
He sees the Bears,
He's kiss'd black Betty,
He's had a Thump over the Head with Sampson's Jawbone,
He's Bridgey.

C
He's Cat,
Cagrin'd,
Capable,
Cramp'd,
Cherubimical,
Cherry Merry,
Wamble Crop'd,
Crack'd,
Concern'd,
Half Way to Concord,
Has taken a Chirriping-Glass,
Got Corns in his Head,
A Cup to much,
Coguy,
Copey,
He's heat his Copper,
He's Crocus,
Catch'd,
He cuts his Capers,
He's been in the Cellar,
He's in his Cups,
Non Compos,
Cock'd,
Curv'd,
Cut,
Chipper,
Chickery,
Loaded his Cart,
He's been too free with the Creature,
Sir Richard has taken off his Considering Cap,
He's Chap-fallen,

D
He's Disguiz'd,
He's got a Dish,
Kill'd his Dog,
Took his Drops,
It is a Dark Day with him,
He's a Dead Man,
Has Dipp'd his Bill,
He's Dagg'd,
He's seen the Devil,

E
He's Prince Eugene,
Enter'd,
Wet both Eyes,
Cock Ey'd,
Got the Pole Evil,
Got a brass Eye,
Made an Example,
He's Eat a Toad & half for Breakfast.
In his Element,

F
He's Fishey,
Fox'd,
Fuddled,
Sore Footed,
Frozen,
Well in for't,
Owes no Man a Farthing,
Fears no Man,
Crump Footed,
Been to France,
Flush'd,
Froze his Mouth,
Fetter'd,
Been to a Funeral,
His Flag is out,
Fuzl'd,
Spoke with his Friend,
Been at an Indian Feast.

G
He's Glad,
Groatable,
Gold-headed,
Glaiz'd,
Generous,
Booz'd the Gage,
As Dizzy as a Goose,
Been before George,
Got the Gout,
Had a Kick in the Guts,
Been with Sir John Goa,
Been at Geneva,
Globular,
Got the Glanders.

H
Half and Half,
Hardy,
Top Heavy,
Got by the Head,
Hiddey,
Got on his little Hat,
Hammerish,
Loose in the Hilts,
Knows not the way Home,
Got the Hornson,
Haunted with Evil Spirits,
Has Taken Hippocrates grand Elixir,

I
He's Intoxicated,
Jolly,
Jagg'd,
Jambled,
Going to Jerusalem,
Jocular,
Been to Jerico,
Juicy.

K
He's a King,
Clips the King's English,
Seen the French King,
The King is his Cousin,
Got Kib'd Heels,
Knapt,
Het his Kettle.

L
He's in Liquor,
Lordly,
He makes Indentures with his Leggs,
Well to Live,
Light,
Lappy,
Limber,

M
He sees two Moons,
Merry,
Middling,
Moon-Ey'd,
Muddled,
Seen a Flock of Moons,
Maudlin,
Mountous,
Muddy,
Rais'd his Monuments,
Mellow,

N
He's eat the Cocoa Nut,
Nimptopsical,
Got the Night Mare,

O
He's Oil'd,
Eat Opium,
Smelt of an Onion,
Oxycrocium,
Overset,

P
He drank till he gave up his Half-Penny,
Pidgeon Ey'd,
Pungey,
Priddy,
As good conditioned as a Puppy,
Has scalt his Head Pan,
Been among the Philistines,
In his Prosperity,
He's been among the Philippians,
He's contending with Pharaoh,
Wasted his Paunch,
He's Polite,
Eat a Pudding Bagg,

Q
He's Quarrelsome,

R
He's Rocky,
Raddled,
Rich,
Religious,
Lost his Rudder,
Ragged,
Rais'd,
Been too free with Sir Richard,
Like a Rat in Trouble.

S
He's Stitch'd,
Seafaring,
In the Sudds,
Strong,
Been in the Sun,
As Drunk as David's Sow,
Swampt,
His Skin is full,
He's Steady,
He's Stiff,
He's burnt his Shoulder,
He's got his Top Gallant Sails out,
Seen the yellow Star,
As Stiff as a Ring-bolt,
Half Seas over,
His Shoe pinches him,
Staggerish,
It is Star-light with him,
He carries too much Sail,
Stew'd
Stubb'd,
Soak'd,
Soft,
Been too free with Sir John Strawberry,
He's right before the Wind with all his Studding Sails out,
Has Sold his Senses.

T
He's Top'd,
Tongue-ty'd,
Tann'd,
Tipium Grove,
Double Tongu'd,
Topsy Turvey,
Tipsey,
Has Swallow'd a Tavern Token,
He's Thaw'd,
He's in a Trance,
He's Trammel'd,

V
He makes Virginia Fence,
Valiant,
Got the Indian Vapours,

W
The Malt is above the Water,
He's Wise,
He's Wet,
He's been to the Salt Water,
He's Water-soaken,
He's very Weary,
Out of the Way.

See Also:

10 of Ben Franklin's Lesser-Known Feats of Awesomeness

[We first posted this list back on Franklin's 304th. Thanks to HistoryCarper.com for their Ben Franklin archives.]

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Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California
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History
The Concept of the American 'Backyard' is Newer Than You Think
A home in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
A home in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California

Backyards are as American as apple pie and baseball. If you live in a suburban or rural area, chances are good that you have a lawn, and maybe a pool, some patio furniture, and a grill to boot.

This wasn’t always the case, though. As Smithsonian Insider reports, it wasn’t until the 1950s that Americans began to consider the backyard an extension of the home, as well as a space for recreation and relaxation. After World War II, Americans started leaving the big cities and moving to suburban homes that came equipped with private backyards. Then, after the 40-hour work week was implemented and wages started to increase, families started spending more money on patios, pools, and well-kept lawns, which became a “symbol of prosperity” in the 1950s, according to a new Smithsonian Institution exhibit.

A man mows his lawn in the 1950s
In this photo from the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit, a man mows his lawn in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington
Library in San Marino, California

Entitled "Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Back Yard," the exhibition includes photographs, advertisements, and articles about backyards from the 1950s and 1960s. The traveling display is currently on view at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum in Temple, Texas, and from there it will head to Hartford, Connecticut, in December.

Prior to the 1950s, outdoor yards were primarily workspaces, MLive.com reports. Some families may have had a vegetable garden, but most yards were used to store tools, livestock, and other basic necessities.

The rise of the backyard was largely fueled by materials that were already on hand, but hadn’t been accessible to the average American during World War II. As Smithsonian Insider notes, companies that had manufactured aluminum and concrete for wartime efforts later switched to swimming pools, patio furniture, and even grilling utensils.

A family eats at a picnic table in the 1960s
A family in Mendham, New Jersey, in the 1960s
Molly Adams/Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection

At the same time, DIY projects started to come into fashion. According to an exhibit caption of a Popular Mechanics article from the 1950s, “‘Doing-it-yourself’ was advertised as an enjoyable and affordable way for families to individualize their suburban homes.” The magazine wrote at the time that “patios, eating areas, places for play and relaxation are transforming back yards throughout the nation.”

The American backyard continues to grow to this day. As Bloomberg notes, data shows that the average backyard grew three years in a row, from 2015 to 2017. The average home last year had 7048 square feet of outdoor space—plenty of room for a sizable Memorial Day cookout.

[h/t Smithsonian Insider]

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