top of page

Eat words, drink 'em and be merry!

Carl Larsson The Christmas Eve

'Tis the season to be jolly, a delicious word for my favourite state.

In honour of jollity (joviality, jocundity, or jocosity if you prefer)

allow me to offer obscure words for verbivores to eat, drink and make merry with this Christmas.

And there's a drunken parlour game at the end. Wassail!


festical: an old Sussex word for a feast

peg-away: to eat or drink voraciously

manducation: the act of eating

gulosity: greed in eating

burnish: to grow fat


huckle-my-buff: beer, eggs and brandy

husser-and-squencher: a pot of beer with a dram of gin in it

flip: beer, rum, and sugar, heated with a red-hot iron

stingo: strong ale

heavy wet: strong ale mixed with porter

And be merry

fresh: not quite drunk, but rather noisy

concerned in liquor: drunk

curious: unsteadily drunk

There are thousands of English language terms for inebriation...more here.

Bonus parlour game [parlour not included]

There are so many things we could be as drunk as that guessing them, or - even better - making new ones up, ought to be Christmas parlour games. I’ll leave that with you. Enjoy.

Are you as drunk as...?

A lord

A judge

A sailor

A beggar

Chloe (said to refer to a nude portrait)

A piper

A fiddler

A fiddler’s whippet (I treacled this one up a bit)

An owl

A boiled owl

David’s sow (any sow will do, but David's had six legs)

A ship’s cat

A monkey

A skunk

A newt

A mouse

A fish

A wheelbarrow

A handcart

Sin itself

Hell (or Hull)

A fart in a vacuum cleaner (found online, therefore true)

A [insert national stereotype]

A [insert favourite sweary word]

A pickled egg (I made that one up)

Wishing all a jolly Christmas filled with delicious words - here's a festive Victorian jellyfish.

Main art: Carl Larsson's A Christmas Eve via Wikimedia Commons

bottom of page