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New Old Beer Words: Nazz’d

Here’s still another new word that should be added to the beer lexicon. Well, it’s not exactly a new word, but has been around 1876, and most likely earlier. It showed up as the word of the day yesterday on my “Forgotten English” page-a-day calendar.

The word is nazz’d and is described as “confused through beer or liquor; slightly drunk. Nazzy, stupified through drink.” It was apparently listed in “C. Clough Robinson’s Dialect of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876.”

Trying to find out more, I found “Nazzle,” defined as “to be in a dreamy, stupid, abstracted state,” also apparently originating in Yorkshire, and listed in “Joseph Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905.” They certainly sound like related words, though I can’t be absolutely certain.

And I also found this definition:

Nazz’d, or Nazzy, adj. slightly drunk. Stupified. “Gying nazzling alang,” sauntering in a state of abstraction.

That one’s from “A Glossary of Words Used in Swaledale, Yorkshire,” by Captain John Harland, published in 1873.

So my interpretation of the word is that it’s meant to describe a very specific type of intoxication. Maybe buzzed is close to it, although I’ve come to hate that word due to the prohibitionist’s appropriation of it, but an intoxication that’s not complete, falling down, incoherent drunk, but closer to that sweet spot where you’re in a dreamlike state. That’s a good place to be.

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