Top 50 JAzz Blog

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Embalmed, Blotto and Owled: Moving from Dry January into Dry Martini February


Edmund Wilson; a man who doesn't look like he enjoys his work.

Otherwise known for more high-fallutin’ work, writer Edmund Wilson did some of his best work when he compiled The Lexicon of Prohibition, in 1927. He said the list was arranged “in order of the degrees of intensity of the conditions which they represent, beginning with the mildest stages and progressing to the more serious…” I’m not certain I agree with Wilson, although what 'half screwed' meant in 1927 may differ from how we see it now. 

Lit, squiffy, oiled, lubricated, owled, edged, jingled, piffed, piped, sloppy, woozy, happy, half screwed, half cooked, half shot, half seas over, fried, stewed, boiled, bent, sprung, crouched, jazzed, jagged, canned, corked, corned, potted, hooted, slopped, tanked, tight, full, wet, high, horseback, liquored, pickled, ginned, shicker (Yiddish-can be either an adjective or a noun), spifflicated, primed, organized, featured, pie-eyed, cock-eyed, wall-eyed, glassy-eyed, bleary-eyed, hoary-eyed, over the Bay, four sheets in the wind, crocked, loaded, leaping, screeching, lathered, plastered, soused, bloated, polluted, saturated, stinko, blind, stiff, under the table, wapsed down, paralyzed, ossified, out like a light, passed out cold, embalmed, buried, blotto, lit up like the sky, sit up like the commonwealth, lit up like a Christmas tree, lit up like a store window, lit up like a church, fried to the hat, slopped to the ears, stewed to the gills, boiled as an owl, full as a tick, loaded for bear, loaded to the muzzle, loaded to the plimsoll mark, to have a bun on, to have a slant on, to have a skate on, to have a snootfull, to have a skinful, to draw a blank, to pull a shut-eye, to pull a Daniel Boone, to have a rubber drink, to have a hangover, to have a head, to have the jumps to have the shakes, to have the zings, to have the heeby-jeebies, to have the screaming-meemies, to have the whoops and jingles, to burn with a low blue flame. 

As of this writing, I'd move "fried to the hat" to the top of the list. Or is it the bottom?


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