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Drunk as a …….. 
Posted: 01 April 2007 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Leafing through my old Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs I was amused to read the ‘drunk as’ similitudes.

Drunk as a beggar, drunk as a fiddler, drunk as a fish, as drunk as a lord (that one’s still going strong!), drunk as a mouse, as drunk as David’s sow (I’m flummoxed by that one, a biblical allusion, I guess, any thoughts?)

The icing on the cake for me though was this one:

As drunk as a wheelbarrow. (1678, RAY, A Collection of English Proverbs)

I’m not even going to begin working that one out! Any modern ‘drunk’ similes?

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Posted: 01 April 2007 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve heard drunk as a skunk.  Probably just for the rhyme.

Here’s one story for David’s sow.

[ Edited: 01 April 2007 01:13 PM by Faldage ]
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Posted: 01 April 2007 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Defendant: I was drunk as a judge when I committed the offense.

Judge: The expression is “sober as a judge”. Don’t you mean “drunk as a lord”?

Defendant: Yes, my lord.

(from “Take our Word for It” article on “drunk as a skunk")

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Posted: 02 April 2007 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Well, replacing “drunk” with “pissed” often brings a slur on the sobriety of newts.
And as a standalone, “ratted” is often heard.  Maybe relates to “...as a mouse”!

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Posted: 02 April 2007 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think ‘ratted’ comes from ‘ratarsed’

On a slightly different note one of my favourites from a friend of mine is ‘mad as toast’

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Posted: 02 April 2007 02:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I seem to recall “pissed as a coot” from my rowing club days in England some 50 years ago.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 02:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Another one: as drunk as sin, or sometimes as drunk as sin itself. Then there’s pissed as a fart, which, upon google-checking, I find has the wonderful variant, as pissed as a fart in a vacuum-cleaner.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Drunk as a handcart.  (From a Cornish dialect glossary).

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Posted: 02 April 2007 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Marvellous, Eliza! That ties in with the wheelbarrow. I still can’t see the thinking behind the two, but then logic and language have ever been at daggers drawn.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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One wonders what Judy would say to all this.

“Boiled as an owl” has long been one of my favorite expressions for indicating drunkenness.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I recall being regaled with the tale of a “topping out” party where the Clerk of Works became so drunk that he was taken from the site to a waiting taxi in a wheelbarrow. (When he got home his wife refused to let him in the house and he spent the remainder of the night asleep in the garden).  Perhaps this was a more common use of wheelbarrows in more agricultural days.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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One wonders what Judy would say to all this.

Dr. T, your memory never ceases to astonish me.

Edit: Woo-hoo, got my third box!

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Posted: 02 April 2007 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Regarding bayard’s remarks about wheelbarrows, I’m reminded of a line from The Lord of the Rings, about the aftermath of Bilbo’s combination 111th birthday and farewell party: “Gardeners came by arrangement, and removed in wheel-barrows those that had inadvertently remained behind.”

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Posted: 02 April 2007 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Having spent a summer doing cleanup on a construction crew, the drunk as a wheelbarrow thing makes sense to me. Pushing a wheelbarrow in anything resembling a straight line requires that it be loaded symmetrically (almost impossible when one is hauling sheetrock scrap) and that the surface you’re traversing is flat (not your typical torn up jobsite). I made many a wheelbarrow trip that resembled the walk of a drunken sailor.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I always heard “drunk as a sailor,” but when I placed that phrase in phrases.org.uk, I was surprised by no direct matches.

Maybe the phrase refers directly to my father’s time in the Navy!

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Posted: 03 April 2007 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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It gets a lot of hits on Google.

Edit: I don’t know why that links to Google’s main site, since I linked to http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=“drunk+as+a+sailor"&meta=

[ Edited: 03 April 2007 12:18 PM by kurwamac ]
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