Victorian Drinking Words


Because of the teatotallers, many people see the Victorian Era as a time of widespread abstinence, but this was most certainly not the case. Drinking was not as regulated as it is today, and it was often recommended by doctors to relieve pain. And it was certainly used recreationally! It’s the weekend, so I thought I would give you some words for drinking and drunks.

‘Getting a Brannigan’ meant getting drunk (on purpose). ‘Drinky’ was another word for tipsy. If you kept drinking after you were drinky, you might become ‘rumdum,’ or stupefied through drink.

A ‘boozer,’ ‘dip,’ ‘dipso,’ ‘swiper’ or ‘swizzler’ was a heavy drinker. To ‘swizzle’ was to drink. Swizzling too much would make you ‘blootered,’ or thoroughly intoxicated. Other adjectives for drunk were: buffy, dead-oh, half-shot, lushy, scammered (like hammered), shicker, sozzled, squiffed, squiffy, squizzed, and tanked.

If you looked awful on top of getting drunk, you might be described as ‘shickery.’

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6 thoughts on “Victorian Drinking Words

    • That’s because slang was much more popular in the 1950s. It was cool to use slang terms that your parents didn’t understand. In the 1800s, young people wanted to sound more educated and affluent; slang was the domain of the lower and working classes.

      Liked by 1 person

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