January 10, 2017

15 Ways to Say “Drunk” In British English

3 minute read

It’s not something to be proud of, but people from the UK have a reputation all over the world for drinking far too much alcohol!

In fact, there are few things more British than going to the pub, whether that’s after work, at the weekend, or even during a lunch break. Sunny days in the UK might be rare, but within minutes of the sun coming out, you will start to smell smoke rising from barbeques and hear people opening cans of beer. On a summer’s afternoon in England, public parks are full of people with picnics and bottles of wine.

It’s true that drinking alcohol plays a much bigger role in British culture than in many other countries, and so it’s not surprising that the Brits have hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of terms and slang words that mean “drunk”.

Here are 25 popular expressions about being drunk. Some of these words and phrases are ruder than others, but most of them are considered funny, rather than likely to cause offence!

  1. Inebriated

This is actually a very formal word for drunk, but people often say it to sound funny. In fact, people often use very “proper” or “posh” language to describe being drunk. The joke is in the difference between how ridiculous people look and sound when they have had too much alcohol, and using very formal language that doesn’t fit the context.

  1. Legless

This is a very common way of describing someone as drunk, for example “he got totally legless last night!”. It hints at the fact that people often find it harder to walk (or use their legs) when they’ve had too much to drink.

  1. Out of It

This doesn’t always mean drunk, but it often does. If you say “I’m out of it” it means you’re finding it hard to concentrate or focus, or you are not really aware of what is happening around you.

  1. Sloshed

This simply means “drunk”, but it’s associated with or older, more upper-class language. Most of the time when people use it they are trying to sound funny.

  1. Sozzled

Like “sloshed”, this is a posher way of saying drunk, that most people would find funny.

  1. Out of Your Tree

This refers to someone who is so drunk that they are behaving very strangely or can’t behave in a normal way.

  1. Off Your Trolley

The same as “out of your tree”.

  1. Wasted

A common word for drunk that’s used both in Britain and the US.

  1. Tipsy

This means that you’re feeling a little bit drunk – but not too much! You might also hear people say something like “that wine has gone to my head”, which means they’re feeling a bit tipsy.

10, 11 & 12. Hammered, Smashed, Plastered

These are all words that you only really hear in the UK that mean the same thing: “very drunk”

  1. Got Your Beer Goggles On

This means that you aren’t seeing things quite as they are because you’re drunk. For example “That guy looks quite cute” “No he’s not, you’ve got your beer goggles on” (or “that’s your beer goggles talking”).

  1. On the Lash

To drink heavily on a night out, for example “We’re going out on the lash tonight”.

  1. Pissed / Pished

Strictly speaking, “pissed” (or “pished” in Scotland) is a swear word and you shouldn’t use it in a formal, professional or school context. However it is probably the most commonly used word in the UK to describe being drunk. If you spend any time in the UK, you will hear it all the time. Just remember that in the US, it means angry, not drunk, or you could find yourself having some very confusing conversations!

Have we missed out a word for “drunk” that you find funny? Let us know in the comments section below!