Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I recently read Ammon Shea's Reading the OED, his chronicle of the year he spent reading the Oxford English Dictionary from cover to cover (well, covers to covers). Shea finds a lot of great words along the way, but my favorite was his entry for goat-drunk. It turns out that this word is just one of eight terms that an Elizabethan writer named Thomas Nashe came up with hundreds of years ago to describe the different ways people act when inebriated. Shea lists them all, even though they didn't all make it into the OED. How many of these people do YOU know?
- Ape drunke: “he leapes, and sings, and hollowes, and daunceth for the heavens”
- Lion drunke: “he flings the pots abut the house, calls his Hostesse whore, breakes the glasse windows with his dagger, and is apt to quarrell with any man that speaks to him”
- Swine drunke – "heauy lumpish, and sleepie, and cries for a little more drinke"
- Sheepe drunke – "wise in his owne conceipt, when he cannot bring forth a right word"
- Mawdlen drunke – "when a fellowe will weepe for kindnes in the midst of his Ale, and kisse you, saying; By God Captaine I loue thee, goe thy waies thou dost not thinke so often of me as I do of thee, I would (if it pleased GOD) I could not loue thee so well as I doo, and then he puts his finger in his eie, and cries"
- Martin drunke – "when a man is drunke and drinkes himselfe sober ere he stirre"
- Goat drunke: "made lascivious by alcohol"
- Foxe drunke: "when he is craftie drunke, as many of the Dutch men
bee, and neuer bargain but when they are drunke"