Drunk

The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary

By Paul Dickson; Brian Rea (Illustrator)
(Melville House Publishing, Hardcover, 9781933633756, 202pp.)

Publication Date: September 29, 2009

List Price: $19.95*
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Description

Here it is: from a Guinness World Records holder, the most English synonyms ever recorded for a single word—“drunk.”

Wise-guy lexicographer Paul Dickson, a consulting editor at Merriam-Webster, has long held the record for collecting the "Most Synonyms" for any term in the English language. He made the Guinness Book of World Records with 2,231 terms meaning "drunk"–beating out no less than Benjamin Franklin, who published his own list (The Drinker's Dictionary) in 1736. But records are made to be broken . . . .

Enter Drunk, wherein Dickson breaks his own record with 2,964 terms for tipsy: blitzed, roasted, on the sauce, whazood, whiskey frisky, and Boris Yelstinned.

An introduction puts the list into context: Why are there so many synonyms for "drunk" and how did Dickson get to collecting them? Dickson's wacky terms are annotated, too, and lushly illustrated, explaining the twist and turns of a language that has thousands of ways to describe somebody who is two sheets to the wind. How, for example, does a word like "blotto" go from the lips of P.G. Wodehouse, into the writings of Edmund Wilson, before landing with Otto from The Simpsons ("My name is Otto, I like to get blotto").

It's a terrific exploration of language and a meditation on drinking culture throughout the ages.




About the Author
Paul Dickson has written eight bat and ball books (one on softball, seven on baseball) and is working on the third edition of his Dickson Baseball Dictionary, as well as a new work, The Unwritten Rules of Baseball. He also writes narrative 20th century American history and compiles word books. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland, with his wife, Nancy.




NPR
Friday, Sep 25, 2009

There are almost as many words for inebriation as there are mixed-drink recipes. Author Paul Dickson presents 2,964 intoxicating euphemisms — including "eating dirt" and going "off me pickle" — in his new book, Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary. More at NPR.org

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