Alcoholics Synonymous: Words to Drink By


Paul Dickson has the type of talent that should win him bar bets around the globe. As the holder of the Guinness World Record for number of synonyms for “drunk,” he knows more ways to call someone “zipped” than anyone else in the world. Extinguished. Count Drunkula. Gone to the devil. Sea faring. The list goes on and on.

His achievement has been proven in his new book Drunk: The Definitive Drinker’s Dictionary , which contains 3,000 equally entertaining synonyms for “drunk.” It’s due out on October 20th, and we figure there’s no better way to congratulate him than with a toast. (To wit, he has written a book about those, too.)

Start with a Dog’s Nose: In a strong glass heat 12 oz of Guinness in a microwave for just a minute, then stir in 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 2 oz of gin (such as Junipero), top with grated nutmeg. Some might bridle at the idea of a Guinness mixed with hard liquor, but you’re not going to get dog-sucking drunk – a term Dickson credits to Carl Hiassen’s Double Whammy — on beer alone.

If you’re planning to get swimming drunk then you’re going to have to get in touch with another Guinness World Record-holder: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant in Orlando, Florida. On May 17, 2001 the staff at Margaritaville created the World’s Largest cocktail, a margarita clocking in at 7,039 gallons. It was consumed by a passing Parrothead.

But you can make your own using Jimmy Buffett’s recipe: Put crushed ice, 2 oz gold tequila, 1/2 oz tequila, 1 1/4 oz Rose’s Lime Juice, 1/2 oz triple sec, and 1 splash orange Curacao into a shaker. Squeeze 2 lime wedges into the shaker. Shake. Rim outside of a glass with lime and coat with salt, then fill with more crushed ice. Strain shaker contents into the class and squeeze in another lime wedge. Now multiply that mixture 212,000 times if you want to show Buffett who’s boss.

With so many varying degrees and descriptions available to describe yourself — such as “talking to Earl on the big phone” — how do you know when you’re well and fully extinguished? Here’s a simple test. Just explain to your drinking companions that “Bullaphants” is Irish slang that “derives from the (originally Cockney) slang ‘elephants,’ which is itself the abbreviated form of ‘elephant’s trunk’ rhyming slang for ‘totally drunk.'”

If you can manage to remember all that, then congratulate yourself with another dip in the wassail bowl; you’re still not yet reached the point of being 100% Liza Minnelli-ed. You’re just off your pickle.

New Yorker readers: Melville House is hosting a book launch on October 13. Paul Dickson will be in attendance, and all of Brian Rea‘s illustrations from Drunk will be on display.

Illustrations from Drunk by Brian Rea, courtesy of Melville House Publishing.