Yesterday was the birthday of William Ernest Henley, who was an English poet, critic and editor of the late-Victorian era in England.
In looking for a quotation in his poems yesterday, I stumbled upon another work of his, “A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English,” which he wrote with John Stephen Farmer, a British lexicographer, spiritualist and writer. The original dictionary ran to seven volumes and was entitled “Slang and its analogues past and present. A dictionary historical and comparative of the heterodox speech of all classes of society for more than three hundred years.” It was first published in 1890, and they continued working on it until 1904.
They appear to have referenced at least 55 earlier dictionaries, published between 1440 and 1900, in compiling their work. In 1912, a single-volume abridged version was also published, and I worked from that one, further abridging it to include only a few select beer-related entries. The abridged version is only 552 pages, and I can only imagine how long the original is. There’s a number of slang terms still in use here, and quite a few I was already familiar with, but most interesting was a large number of terms I was unaware of before this. So like “The Princess Bride,” this is the good parts version, with a selection of the entries having to do with beer, brewing or drinking. There’s a lot of gems here, and I confess I got lost in the text more than a few times. Read it from top to bottom, skip around, skim it for a few tidbits, but whatever you do, I believe you’ll find a wealth of interesting beer and language history.
A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English
(The Good Parts Version)
- Abraham Grains. A publican brewing his own beer.
- Act of Parliament. Small beer, five pints of which, by an act of Parliament, a landlord was formerly obliged to give gratis to each soldier billeted upon him.
- Ale, (1) A merry-making; and occasion for drinking. There were bride-ales, church-ales, clerk-ales, give-ales, lamb-ales, leet-ales. Midsummer-ales, Scot-ales, Whitsun-ales, and several more. (2) An ale-house. Hence alecie (or alecy), drunkenness; ale-blowm (ale-washed or alecied), drunk; ale-draper (whence ale-drapery), an inn-keeper (Grose : cf. ale-yard); ale-spinner, a brewer; ale-knight (ale-stake,
or ale-toast), a tippler, pot-companion; ale-post, a maypole (Grose); ale-passion, a headache; ale-pock, an ulcered grog-blossom (q.v.); ale-crummed, grogshot in the face; ale-swilling, tippling, etc. (1362). (3) In pL, Messrs S. Allsopp and Sons Limited Shares.
- Allslops. Allsopp and Sons’ ale. [At one time their brew, formerly
of the finest quality, had greatly deteriorated.]
- Angel’s-food. Strong ale. (1597.)
- Apron-washings. Porter.
- Archdeacon. (Oxford). Merton strong ale.
- Arms-and-legs. Small beer: because there is no body in it (Grose).
- Audit-ale (or Audit). A special brew of ale: orig. for use on audit days. Univ. (1823.)
- Barley. In general colloquial use: thus, oil of barley (or barley – bree, -broth, -juice, -uxiter, or -wine), (1) strong ale, and (2) whisky (Grose); barley -island, an alehouse; John Barley (or Barleycorn), the personification of malt liquor: cf. proverb. Sir John Barleycorn’s the strongest knight;
barley – cup, a tippler; barley-mood (or sick) (1) drunk; and (2) ill-humour caused by tippling; also to have (or wear) a barley-hat (-cap, or -hood) (1500.)
- Barrel. 1. A confirmed tippler: also beer-barrel; whence barrel-house (American), a low groggery; barrel-fever, drunkenness (or disease caused by tippling): see Gallon-distemper;
barrel-boarder, a bar loafer. 2. Money used in a political campaign (American politics); spec, that expended for
corrupt purposes : cf. Boodle; barrel-campaign, an election in which bribery is a leading feature: a wealthy candidate for office (c. 1876) is said to have remarked. Let the boys know that there’s a bar’l o’ money ready for ’em, or words to that effect. Never (or the devil) a barrel the better herring, much like, not a pin to choose between them, six of one and half a dozen of the other. (1542.)
- Bass. A familiar abbreviation for Bass’ ale, brewed at Burton-on-Trent.
- Beer. To drink beer, also, to do a beer. To be in beer, drunk: see Screwed. To think no small beer of oneself, to possess a good measure of self-esteem (1840); see Small-beer.
- Beer and Bible. An epithet applied sarcastically to a political party which first came into prominence during the last Beaconsfield Administration, and which was called into being by a measure introduced by the moderate Liberals in 1873, with a view to placing certain restrictions upon the sale of intoxicating rinks. The Licensed Victuallers, an extremely powerful association whose influence extended all over the kingdom, took alarm, and turned to the Conservatives for help in opposing the bill. In the ranks of the latter were numbered the chief brewers; the leaders of the association, moreover, had mostly strong high-church tendencies, while one of them was president of the Exeter Hall organization. The Liberals, noting these facts, nicknamed this alliance the Beer and Bible Association; the Morning Advertiser, the organ of the Licensed Victuallers, was dubbed the Beer and Bible Gazette; and lastly, electioneering tactics ascribed to them the war cry of Beer and Bible I This so-called Beer and Bible interest made rapid strides : in 1870 the Conservatives
were at their low-water mark among the London constituencies; but, in 1880, they had carried seats in the City, Westminster, Marylebone, Tower Ham-lets, Greenwich, and Southwark. A notable exception to this strange fellowship was Mr. Bass [afterwards Lord Bass], of pale-ale fame, who held aloof from opposition to the measure
in question. Anent the nickname Beer and Bible Gazette given to the Morning Advertiser, it may be mentioned that it had already earned for itself a somewhat similar sobriquet. For a long time this paper devoted one-half of its front page to notices of publicans and tavern-keepers; while the other half was filled up with announcements of religious books, and lists of preachers at the London churches and chapels. This gained for the paper the sobriquet of the Gin and Gospel Gazette.
- Beer-barrel. The human body: cf. Bacon.
- Beeriness (or Beery), pertaining to a state of (or approaching to) drunkenness, intoxicated, fuddled with beer: see Screwed (1857).
- Beer-jerker (or -slinger). A tippler: see Lushington.
- Beerocracy, subs, (common). The brewing and beer-selling interest: a humorous appellation in imitation of aristocracy: cf. Mobocracy, Cottonocracy, etc.
- Belch. Beer, especially poor beer: because of its liability to cause eructation. One of Shakespeare’s characters in Twelfth Night is Sir Toby Belch, a reckless, roystering, jolly knight of the Elizabethan period.
- Belcher. 1. A neckerchief named after Jim Belcher, a noted pugilist: the ground is blue, with white spots: also any handkerchief of a similar pattern (1812). 2. A ring: with the crown and V.R. stamped upon them. 3. A beer drinker, a hard drinker (1598).
- Belly-vengeance. Sour beer: as apt to cause gastralgia : Fr., pisain de clieval.
- Bemused. Fuddled, in the stupid stage of drinkenness: see Screwed: usually bemused with beer (Pope).
- Benbouse. Good beer (1567).
- Bend. To tipple, drink hard (Jamieson) (1758). Above one’s bend, above one’s ability (power or capacity), out of one’s reach, above one’s hook: in U.S.A. above my huckleberry (q.v.).
- Bilgewater. Bad beer.
- Bitter. A glass of beer. To do a bitter, to drink a glass of bitter: originally (says Hotten) an Oxford term: varied by, to do a beer.
- Black-and-tan. Porter (or stout) and ale, mixed in equal quantities.
- Black Jack. 1. A leathern jug for beer, usually holding two gallons (1591).
- Blue-cap. 1, A Scotchman (1596). 2. A kind of ale (1822).
- Brighton Tipper. A particular brew of ale.
- Brown. 1. A halfpenny: see Rhino (1812). 2. Porter: an abbreviation of Brown Stout.
- Bub. 1. Strong drink of any kind: usually applied to malt liquor. To take bub and grub, to eat and drink (1671).
- Bubber. 1. A hard drinker, confirmed tippler: see Lushington: Fr., bibassier (1653). 2. A drinking bowl (1696). 3. A public-house thief (1785).
- Bubbing. Drinking, tippling (1678).
- Bumclink. In the Midland counties inferior beer brewed for haymakers and harvest labourers.
- Bung-juice. Beer.
- Bunker. Beer: see Drinks.
- Cakes and Ale. A good time: also Cakes and cheese.
- Call bogus. A mixture of rum and spruce beer, an American beverage (Grose).
- Cascade. 1. Tasmania beer: because manufactured from cascade water: cf. Artesian. 2. A trundling gymnastic performance in pantomime. As verb, to vomit (1771).
- Cauliflower. 1. A clerical wig supposed to resemble a cauliflower; modish in the time of Queen Anne. 2. The foaming head of a tankard of beer. In Fr., linge or faux-col.
- Clink. 4. A very indifferent beer made from the gyle of malt and the sweepings of hop bins, and brewed especially for the benefit of agricultural labourers in harvest time. (1588).
- Cocktail. 4. (American). A drink composed of spirits (gin, brandy, whisky, etc.), bitters,
crushed ice, sugar, etc., the whole whisked briskly until foaming, and then drunk ‘hot.’ As adj., (1) under-
bred, wanting in ‘form’ (chiefly of horses). (2) Fresh, foaming: of beer.
- Cold-blood. A house licensed for the sale of beer, not to be drunk on the premises.
- Cooler. 1. A woman (1742). 2. A prison: see Cage. 3. Ale or stout after spirits and water: sometimes called Putting the beggar on the gentleman; also Damper (q.v.) (1821).
- Copus. A wine or beer cup: commonly imposed as a fine upon those who talked Latin in hall or committed other breaches of etiquette. Dr. Johnson derives it from episcopus, and if this be correct it is doubtless the same as bishop.
- Dash. 1. A tavern waiter. 2. (common). A small quantity, a drink; a go (q.v.).
- Dead. An abbreviation of dead certainty. As adj., stagnant, quiet (of trade), flat (as of beer or aerated waters after exposure), cold, good, thorough, complete (1602).
- Dog’s-nose. A mixture of gin and beer: see Drinks.
- Drinks. The subjoined hosts will be of interest. Invitations to drink — What’ll you have? Nominate your pizen! Will you irrigate? Will you tod? Wet your whistle? How’ll you have it? Let us stimulate! Let’s drive another nail! What’s your medicine? Willst du trinken? Try a little anti-abstinence? Twy (zwei) lager! Your whisky’s waiting. Will you try a smile? Will you take a nip? Let’s get there. Try a little Indian? Come and see your pa? Suck some com juice? Let’s liquor up. Let’s go and see the baby. Responses to invitations to drink. — Here’s into your face! Here’s how! Here’s at you! Don’t care if I do. Well, I will. I’m thar! Accepted, unconditionally. Well, I don’t mind. Sir, your most. Sir, your utmost. You do me proud I Yes, sir-ree! With you — yes I Anything to oblige.
- Elbow-crooker. A hard drinker.
English Synonyms: borachio, boozington, brewer’s horse, bubber, budger, mop, lushington, worker of the cannon, wet – quaker, soaker, lapper, pegger, angel altogether, bloat, ensign -bearer, fiddle – cup, sponge, tun, toss – pot, swill-pot, wet subject, shifter, potster, swallower, pot- walloper, wetster, dramster, drinkster, beer-barrel, gin-nums, lowerer, moist ‘un, drainist, boozer, mopper-up, piss-maker, thirstington.
- English Burgundy. Porter: see Drinks.
- Flip. I. Hot beer, brandy, and sugar; also, says Grose, called Sir Cloudesley after Sir Cloudesley Shovel.
- Full. 1. Drunk: see Screwed.
- Gatter. Beer; also liquor generally. Shant of gatter, a pot of beer: Fr., moussante: see Drinks.
- Growler. A four-wheeled cab: cf . Sulky. English synonyms: birdcage, blucher, bounder, fever-trap, flounder-and-dab (rhyming), four-wheeler, groping hutch, mab (an old hackney), rattler, rumbler. To rush (or work) the growler, to fetch beer (workman’s).
- Gutter-alley (or lane). 1. The throat. All goes doum gutter-lane. He spends all on his stomach. English synonyms: Beer Street, common sewer, drain, funnel. Gin Lane, gulf-gullet, gully-hole, gutter, Holloway, Peck Alley, Red Lane, the Red Sea, Spew Alley, swallow, thrapple, throttle, whistle. 2. A urinal.
- Half-and-half. Equal quantities of ale and porter : cf. Four-half and Drinks (1824). As adj., half-drunk, half-on (q.v.): see Screwed. Half-and-half -coves (men, hoys, etc.), cheap or linsey-woolsey dandies, half-bucks (q.v.), half- tigers (q.v.).
- Half-seas Over. Loosely applied to various degrees of inebriety: formerly, half way on one’s course, or towards attainment: see Screwed. [In its specific sense Gifford says, A corruption of the Dutch op-zee zober, over-sea beer, a strong heady beverage introduced into Holland from England. Up-zee Freese is Friezeland beer. The Grerman zavber means strong beer, and bewitchment.
- Half-slewed. Parcel drunk: see Screwed.
- Head. (2) to froth malt liquors: e.g. Put a head on it. Miss, addressed to the barmaid, is a request to work the engine briskly, and make the liquor take on a cauliflower (q.v.).
- Heavy-wet. 1. Malt Hquor: specifically porter and stout: also Heavy: see Drinks (1821). 2. A heavy drinking bout.
- Hedge-tavern (or ale-house). A jilting, sharping tavern, or blind alehouse (B. E.).
- Hockey. Drunk, especially on stale beer: see Screwed.
- Hot-pot. Ale and brandy made hot (Grose).
- Hot-tiger. Hot-spiced ale and sherry.
- Huckle-my-but. Beer, egg, and brandy made hot (Grose).
- Huff-cap (or Huff). 1. Strong ale: from inducing people to set their caps in a bold and huffing style. (Nares) (1579.)
- Hull-cheese. Hull-cheese is much like a loaf out of a brewers basket, it is composed of two simples, malt and water, in one compound, and is cousin germane to the mightiest ale in England’ (John Taylor).
- Hum. 1. A kind of strong liquor: probably a mixture of beer and spirits, but also appUed to old, mellow, and very strong beer: also Hum-cap (1616).
- Humming. Strong — applied to drink; brisk — applied to trade; hard — applied to blows. Humming
October, the specially strong brew from the new season’s hops, stingo (q.v.) (1696).
- Humpty-dumpty. 2. Ale boiled with brandy (1696).
- Jerry-shop. A beer-house: also jerry.
- John-Barleycorn. Beer: see Drinks (1791).
- Kiddleywink. A small village shop; and, 3. specifically (in the West country), an ale-house.
- Knock-down (or Knock-me-down). Strong ale, stingo (q.v.), also, gin (1515). As adj., rowdy (1760).
- Lager Beer. To think no lager beer of oneself: see Small beer.
- Lamb’s-wool. Hot ale, spiced, sweetened, and mixed with the pulp of roasted apples (1189).
- Legs-and-arms. Bodiless beer.
- Lift-leg. Strong ale, stingo (q.v. ).
- Lounce. A drink: specifically a pint of beer: i.e. allowance.
- Lull. Ale (1636).
- Lush. 1. Drink: from Lushington, a once well-known London brewer: see Drinks. 2. A drinking bout. 3. (Eton College), a dainty. As verb, (1) to drink, and (2) to stand treat. English synonyms: to barley-bree, to beer, to bend, to blink, to boose, to bub, to budge, to cover, to crack (or crush) a bottle (a quart, or cup), to crook, to crook (lift, or tip) the elbow (or little finger), to damp, to damp one’s mug, to dip, to dip one’s beak (or nose), to disguise oneself, to do a dram (or wet), to drown the shamrock, to flicker, to flush, to fuddle, to gargle, to give a bottle a black eye, to guttle, to guzzle, to go and see a man (or — of women — one’s pa), to grog, to have, get, or take an ante-lunch, a little anti-abstinence, an appetiser, a ball, a bead, a bit of tape, a bosom friend, a bucket, a bumper, a big reposer, a chit-chat, a cheerer, a cinder, a cobbler, a corker, a cooler, some corn juice, a damp, something damp, a damper, a dannie, a drain, a dram, a doch-an-dorroch, a digester, an eye-opener, an entr’acte, a fancy smile, a flash, a flip, a forenoon, a go, a hair of the dog that bit one, a heeltap, an invigorator, a Johnny, a jorum, a leaf of the old author, a morning rouser, a modicum, a nip, or nipperkin, a night-cap, a nut, one’s medicine, a pistol shot, a pony, a pill, a quantum, a quencher, a refresher, a revelation, a rouser, a reposer, a smile, a swig, a sleeve-button, a something, a slight sensation, a shant, a shout, a sparkler, a settler, a shift, a stimulant, a sneaker, a snifter, a soother, a thimbleful, a tift, a taste, a toothful, a Timothy, a warmer, a willy-wacht, to huff, to irrigate, to knock about the bub, to lap, to lap the gutter, to liquor, to liquor up, to load in, to look thro’ a glass, to lower, to lug, to make fun, to malt, to moisten (or soak) the chaffer (clay, or lips), to mop, to mop- up, to mug, to peg, to potato, to prime oneself, to pull, to put (or drive) another nail in one’s coffin, to read the maker’s name, to revive, to rince, to rock, to save a life, to scamander, to LashborougJi.
- Lushington. A sot: also lushing man and lushing cove. English synoyms: admiral of the red, after-dinner man, ale-knight, ale-wisp, artilleryman, bang-pitcher, beer-barrel, belch-guts, bencher, bench-whistler, bezzle, bibber, blackpot, bloat, blomboll, boozer, boozington, borachio, bottle-sucker, brandy-face, brewer’s horse, bubber (or bubster), budge (or budger), bung-eye, burster, common sewer, coppernose, drainist, drainpipe, dramster, D-T-ist, elbow-crooker, emperor, ensign – bearer, fish, flag-of-distress, fluffer, fuddle-cap (or fuddler), full-blown angel, gargler, gin-crawler, (or slinger), ginnums, gravel-grinder, grog-blossom, guttle (or guttle-guts), guzzler (or guzzle – guts), high-goer, jolly-nose, lapper, love- pot, lowerer, lug-pot, moist-‘un, mooner, mop, (or mopper-up), nazie-cove (or mort), nipster, O – be – joyfuUer (or O – be- joyful-merchant), pegger, piss-maker, potster, pot-walloper, pub-ornament, sapper, shifter, sipster, soaker, sponge, swallower, swill-pot (or tub), swigsby, swigster, swipester, swizzle-guts, Thirstington, tipple-arse, toddy-cask, toss-pot, tote, tun, wet-quaker, wet-subject, wetster.
- Lush-crib (or ken). A public house, tavern, hotel, club, etc. English synonyms: ale draper’s, black-house, boozer, budging-ken, church, cold-blood house, confectionery, cross-dram, devil’s-house, dive, diving-bell, drum, flash-case (drum, ken, or panny), flat-iron, flatty-ken, gargle-factory, gin-mill, grocery, groggery, grog-shop, guzzle-crib, jerry-shop, hash-shop, hedge-house, kiddly-wink, little church round the comer, lush-house (panny, or ken), lushery, mop-up, mug-house, 0-be-joyful works, panny, patter-crib, piss-factory, pot-house, pub (or public) red-lattice, roosting-ken, rum-mill, shanty, she-been, side-pocket, sluicery, suck-casa, tippling-shop, Tom-and-Jerry shop, whistling-shop, wobble-shop.
- Lushy. Drunk: see Screwed.
- Mad-dog. Strong ale: see Drinks (1586).
- Made-beer (Winchester College). College swipes bottled with rice, a few raisins, sugar, and nutmeg to make it up (Mansfield).
- Malt. To drink beer (1828). To have the malt above the wheat (water, or meal), to be drunk: see Screwed (1767).
- Malt-worm (bug, or horse). A tippler, Lushington (q.v.) (1551).
- Merry-go-down. Strong ale, stingo (q.v.): see Drinks (1530).
- Mother-in-law. A mixture of old and bitter ales. Mother-in-law’s bit, a small piece, mothers-in-law being supposed not apt to overload the stomachs of their husband’s children (Orose).
- Mughouse. An alehouse: see Lush-crib (1710).
- Mumper’s-hall. A hedge tavern, beggar’s alehouse (Orose).
- Nale. An alehouse.
- Nap. 4. Ale, strong beer: an abbreviation of nappy (q.v.).
- Nappy. Strong ale: also napping-gear. As adj. (1) strong or heady; (2) drunk (1593).
- Never-fear. Beer.
- Nickum. A sharper; also a rooking ale-house or innkeeper, vintner, or any retailer (JS. E.).
- Nippitate. Strong drink, especially ale : also Nippitato and Nippitatum (1575).
- Norfolk-nog. A kind of strong ale (1726).
- Oats-and-barley. Charley.
- October. 1. The best ale : spec, ale or cider brewed in October. 2. Blood. Odd. Strange, peculiar, difficult (1602.)
- Oil. Used in humorous or sarcastic combination : e.g. oil of barley, beer.
- P and Q. To the P. and Q, to be of the first quahty, good measure (1612). To mind one’s P’s and Q’s, to be careful and circumspect in behaviour, exact. [Of uncertain origin; amongst suggested derivations are (1) the difficulty experienced by children in distinguishing between p and q; and (2) the old custom of alehouse tally, marking p for pint, and q for quart, care being necessary to avoid over- or under-charge. Probably both in combination with the phrase, to be p and q (q.v.), have helped to popularise the expression] (1779)
- Perkin. 1. Weak cider or perry (Orose). 2. Beer. [From Barclay, Perkin & Co.]
- Pharaoh. 1. A corruption of faro (1732). 2. A strong ale or beer: also Old Pharaoh (1685).
- Pong. Beer: also Pongdow or Pongllorum. As verb, (1) to drink; (2) to vamp a part, or (circus), to perform; (3) to talk, gas (q.v.).
- Pot. 1. A quart: the quantity contained in a pot: whence as verb, to drink: also (American) to potate; potting, boozing (q.v.); potations (recognised), a drinking bout; pot-Twuse (or shop), a beer-shop, a Lush-crib (q.v.); pot-house (or coffee-house) politician, an ignorant, irresponsible spouter of politics; pot-companion, (1) a cup-comrade, and (2) an habitual drunkard : as also, potfury (also, drunkenness), -knight, -head, -leach, -man, -polisher, -sucker, loaUoper, potator, potster, toss-pot, and rob-pot; pot-punishment, compulsory tippling; pot-quarrel, a drunken squabble; pot-sick (or -shot), drunk; pot-sure (-hardy, or -valiant), emboldened by liquor: cf. Dutch courage; pot-bllied, fat, bloated in stomach, as from guzzling: also pot-belly (or guts),’ a big-bellied one; pot-revel, a drunken frolic; potmania (or potomania), dipsomania; Sir (or Madam) Pint-pot, a host or hostess; pot-boy (or man), a barscullion: whence pot-boydom.
- Proof. The best ale at Magdalen, Oxford.
- Purge. Beer, swipes (q.v.).
- Purko. Beer. [Barclay, Perkins, and Co.]
- Purl. 1. Beer infused with wormwood. 2. Beer warmed nearly to boiling point, and flavoured with gin, sugar, and ginger. Purl-man, a boating vendor of purl to Thames watermen (1680).
- Red-lattice (or Lettice). An ale-house sign. Hence red-lattice phrases, pothouse talk; also green lattice; red-grate, tavern or brothel, or both combined (1596).
- Reeb. Beer: top of reeb, a pot of beer.
- Rob-pot. A drunkard, malt-worm (q.v.) (1622).
- Rot-gut. Poor drink: generic: spec, bad beer or alcohol: also rotto (1597).
- Screwed (or Screwy). Drunk, tight (q.v.). Synonyms: [Further lists will be found under Drinks, Drunk, D.T.’s, Gallon-distemper. Lush, Lush-crib, and Lushington.] To be afflicted, afloat, alecied, all at sea, all mops-and-brooms, in one’s armour, in one’s altitudes, at rest, Bacchi plenum, battered, be-argered, beery, bemused, a bit on, blind, bloated, blowed, blued, boozed, bosky, a brewer, bright in the eye, bubbed, budgy, huffy, bung – eyed, candy, canon (or cannon), chirping – merry, chucked, clear, cfinched, concerned, corked, corkscrewed, corky, corned, crooked, in one’s cups, cup-shot, cut, dagged, damaged, dead – oh! disguised, disorderly, doing the Lord (or Emperor), done over, down (with barrel-fever: see Gallon-distemper), dull in the eye, full of Dutch- courage, electrified, elephant’s – trunk (rhyming), elevated, exalted, far gone, feeling funny (or right royal), fettled (or in good fettle), fighting-tight (or drunk), flawed, floored, fluffed, flummoxed, flushed, flustered, flustrated, flying-high, fly-blown, fogged (or foggy), fou (Scots), on fourth, foxed, fresh, fuddled, full, full-flavoured, full to the bung, fuzzy, gay, gilded, glorious, grape-shot, gravelled, greetin’- fou’, groggy, hanced, half-seas-over, happy, hard-up, hazy, heady, hearty, helpless, hiccius-doccius, hickey, high, hockey, hoodman, in a difficulty (see Gallon – distemper), incog, inspired, jagged, jolly, jug-bitten, kennurd (back slang, drunk), all keyhole, kisk, knocked – up, leary, hon drunk, in Liquor-pond Street-loaded, looking lively, lumpy, lushy, making indentures with one’s legs, malted, martin drunk, mashed, mellow, miraculous, mixed, moony, mopped, moppy, mortal, muckibus, muddled, mugged, muggy, muzzy, nappy, nase (or nazy), noddy – headed, noggy, obfuscated, oddish, off (off at the nail, or one’s nut), on (also on the bend, beer, batter, fuddle, muddle, sentry, skyte spree, etc.: see Flare-up and Floored), out (also out of funds, register, altitudes, etc.), overcome, overseen, overshot, over – sparred, overtaken, over the bay, palatic, paralysed, peckish, a peg too low, pepst, pickled, piper – drunk (or merry), ploughed, poddy, podgy, potted-off, pot-shot, pot-sick, pot-valiant, primed, pruned, pushed, queered, quick – tempered, raddled, rammaged, ramping-mad, rather touched, rattled, rellng (or tumbling), ripe, roaring, rocky, salubrious, scammered, scooped, sewn up, shaky, three (or four) sheets in the wind, shot, shot in the neck, slewed, smeekit, smelling of the cork, snapped, snuffy, snug, so, soaked, sow-drunk, spiffed, spoony – drimk, spreeish, sprung, squiffed (or squiffy), stale-drunk, starchy, swattled, swiggled, swilled, swinnied, swine-drunk, swiped (or swipey), swivelly, swizzled, taking it easy, tangle-footed, tap-shackled, taverned (also hit on the head by a tavern bitch, or to have swallowed a tavern token), teeth under, thirsty, tight, tipsy, top-heavy, topsy-boosy, tosticated, under the influence, up a tree, up in one’s hat, waving a flag of defiance, wet, wet – handed, what- nosed, whipcat (Florio), whittled, winey, yappish (yaupy or yappy). Also, to have a guest in the attic, the back teeth well afloat, a piece of bread and cheese in the head, drunk more than one has bled, the sun in one’s eyes, a touch of boskiness, a cup too much, a brick in the hat, a drop in the eye, got the flavour, a full cargo aboard, a jag on, a cut leg, the malt above the wheat, one’s nuff, one’s soul in soak, yellow fever. Also, to have been barring too much, bitted by a bam mouse, driving the brewer’s horse, biting one’s name in, dipping rather deep, making M’s and T’s, paid, painting the town red, shaking a cloth in the wind. Also, to wear a barley cap, to cop the brewer, to let the finger ride the thumb, to lap the gutter, to need a reef taken in, to see the devil, to take a shard (or shourd), to shoe the goose, to see one apiece.
- Shandy-gaff. Beer and ginger-beer (1853).
- Shant. A quart; a pot : e.g. shant of gatter, a pot of beer.
- Shanty. 1. A rough and tumble hut. 2. A public-house. 3. A brothel. 4. A quart. 5. Beer money; also as verb, (1) to dwell in a hut, (2) to take shelter. 6. See Chantey.
- Shearer’s Joy (Australian). Colonial beer.
- She-oak. Colonial brewed ale.
- Short-pot. ‘False, cheating Potts used at Ale-houses, and Brandy-shops’ (B. E.).
- Single-broth (or tiff). Small beer: see Screwed (1635).
- Sir Walter Scott. A pot of beer.
- Six-and-tips. Whisky and small beer (1785).
- Skin-disease. Fourpenny ale.
- Small beer. 1. Weak beer. 2. trifles; to chronicle small beer, (1) to engage in trivial occupations, and (2) to retail petty scandal; to think small beer of anything, to have a poor opinion of it. Also small things. As adj., petty (1604).
- Sour-ale. To mend like sour-ale in summer, to get worse.
- Stingo. Strong liquor: spec, humming ale (q.v.).
- Stitch-back. Very strong ale, stingo (q.v.).
- Stout. 1. Very strong malt-drink (B. E.). 2. In pl., Guinness’s shares. Stout across the narrow, full bellied, corpulent.
- Stride-wide. Ale. [Halliwell: mentioned in Harrison’s England, 202.]
- Swankey. Any weak tipple: spec, small beer: also (fishermen’s) a mixture of water, molasses, and vinegar.
- Swell-nose. Strong ale, stingo (q.v.) (1515).
- Swinny. Drunk: see Screwed: also swinnied.
- Swipe. 1. A blow delivered with the full length of the arm; as verb, to drive (q.v.), to bang: hence swiper, a hard hitter, a slogger (q.v.), a knocker-out (q.v.): at Harrow, to birch (1200). 2. In pi., thin, washy beer, small beer: also (schools) any poor tipple: as verb, to drink; hence Swish.
- Swizzle (or Swizzy). 1. Generic for drink; also, 2. various compounded drinks — rum and water, ale and beer mixed, and (West Indies) what is known in America as a cocktail. As verb, to tope, to swill (q.v.);
and stoizded, drink; also see Screwed (1850).
- Taplash. 1. Bad, thick beer: cask-dregs or tap-droppings. Hence, as adj., poor, washy, trivial (1630), Hence, 2. a publican: in contempt.
- Tenant at will. One whose wife usually fetches him from the ale-house (Grose).
- Three-threads (or thirds). Half common ale, and the rest stout or double beer (B. E.); three-thirds, and denoted a draught, once popular, made up of a third each of ale, beer, and ‘two-penny,’ in contradistinction to ‘half-and-half’; this beverage was superseded in 1722 by the very similar porter or ‘entire’ (Chambers).
- Tiddlywink. An unlicensed house: a pawnbroker’s (also leaving-shop, q.v.), a beershop, a brothel, etc. As verb, to spend more than prudence or custom will sanction.
- Tiff. 1. Small beer, swipes (q.v.). Hence, a moderate draught: a tiff of punch, a small bowl of punch; as verb, to drink: tiffing, eating and drinking out of meal time (Grose).
- Tipper. 1. A special brew of ale: named after Mr. Thomas Tipper: also Brighton Tipper (1843). 2. See Tip.
- Tomato Can Vag. Draining the dregs of an empty beer-barrel into a tomato can.
- Top-o-reeb. A pot of beer. Top-joint, a pint of beer.
- Toss. As verb, to drink at a draught, to gulp: e.g. to toss a can of beer: also to toss off: cf. Toast; hence toss-pot – a drunkard: see Lushington; tossed (or tosticated), drunk: see Screwed (1660).
- Trickett. A long drink of beer. [New South Wales, after Trickett, the champion sculler.]
- Twopenny. 1. Beer; sold at 2d. a quart: cf. Fourpenny, etc. (1771).
- Upsee-Dutch (Upsee-English, Upsee-Freese). Conjecturally a kind of heady beer qualified by the name of the brew. Hence upsee-freesy, etc., drunk: see Screwed; to drink upsee-Dutch (English, etc.), to drink deeply, or in true toper fashion according to the custom of the country named. Also Upsees (1600).
- Water-bewitched. Weak lap (q.v.) of any kind: spec, (modem) tea very much watered down, but orig. (1672) very thin beer: also water-damaged: cf. Husband’s-tea.
- Whistle-belly-vengeance. Bad beer, swipes (q.v.); hence indifferent lap (q.v.) of any kind: cf. Whip-belly-vengeance.
- Whistle-cup. A drinking cup with a whistle attached: the last toper capable of using the whistle received the cup as a prize. Also a tankard fitted with a whistle, so arranged as to sound when the vessel was emptied, thus warning the drawer that more liquor was required.
- Whistle-drunk. Very drunk indeed (1749).
- Whistle-jacket. Small beer.
- Synonyms for beer (including stout). Act of Parliament; artesian, barley, belch, belly-vengeance, bevy or bevvy, brownstone, bum-clink, bung- juice, bunker, cold-blood, down (see Up); English burgundy (porter), gatter, half-and-half, heavy-wet, John Barleycorn, knock-down or knock-me-down, oil of barley, perkin, ponge, pongelow, or ponjeUo, rosin, rot-gut, sherbet, stingo, swankey, swipes, swizzle, up (bottled ale or stout)
Martyn Cornell says
“Lush. 1. Drink: from Lushington, a once well-known London brewer”
No such brewer, ever. Also, don’t get me started on “three-threads” …