Green’s Dictionary of Slang

drunk as (a)... adj.

also drunker than...

the images of drunkenness are many and varied, for all that some comparisons seem somewhat far-fetched. As well as the following phrs. and the major entries separated out, all the following nouns have been allied with drunk: drunk as a bastard, ...bat, ...beggar, ...besom, ...bowdow, ...brewer’s fart, ...cook, ...coon, ...dog, ...emperor, ...fiddler, ...fiddler’s bitch, ...fish, ...fly, ...fowl, ...forty, ...Gosport fiddler, ...hog, ...jaybird, ...little red wagon, ...log, ...loon, ...lord, ...monkey, ...mouse, ...peep, ...Perraner, ...pig, ...piper, ...poet, ...rolling fart, ...sailor, ...skunk in a trunk, ...sow, ...swine, ...tapster, ...tick, ...top, ...wheelbarrow.

[UK]Colyn Blowbols Testament line 7: He was drounke as any swyne. [Ibid.] line 243: Every man shall be drownke as any mous. [Ibid.] line 273: They ben as dronk-lyght as a flye. [Ibid.] line 280: Ther be honest men and able, Such as wil be drongen [sic] as an ape.
[UK]Skelton Colyn Cloute (1550) Cii: Drunken as a mouse At the ale house.
[UK]D. Lyndsay Satyre of Thrie Estaits I ixx: He will be drucken as ane sow.
[UK]T. Ingelend Disobedient Child Dii: Oft he commes forth as dronke as a Mouse.
[UK]U. Fulwell Like Will to Like 33: And I will pledge Tom Tosspot, till I be drunk as a mouse-a.
[UK]P. Stubbes Anatomie of Abuses 95: They continue [...] swilling and gulling, night and day, till they be as drunke as apes.
[UK]Jonson Every Man Out of his Humour V iv: He becomes as churlish as a hog, or drunk as a sow.
[UK]N. Field Woman is a Weathercock III ii: O good old woman she is top-shackled. She’ll be as drunk as a porter.
[UK]Gossips Braule 6: You have forgot since you were knock’d by two Roagues under Mount-Mill and after came home as drunk as a Bitch.
[UK]Mercurius Democritus 8-16 Dec. 185: They be as drunk as so many Dutch Lords.
[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 75: Merry as Greeks, and drunk as Lords.
[UK]J. Ray Proverbs 204: As drunk as a beggar. This Proverb begins now to be disused, and people instead of it are ready to say, As drunk as a Lord.
[UK]T. Duffet Epilogue Spoken by Heccate and Three Witches 31: Be damn’d you Whore! did fierce Mechanick cry, And most unlike a true bred Gentleman, Drunk as a Bitch he left me there in Pawn.
[UK]C. Cotton Scoffer Scoff’d (1765) 243: If he such things can do, / When drunk as Drum [...] What would not this God of October / Perform, I prithee, when he’s sober.
[UK]D’Urfey Madam Fickle V ii: Ah Lord! ’tis my Father – and drunk as a Wheel-barrow.
[UK]Congreve Way of the World IV i: Thou art both as drunk and as mute as a fish.
[UK] ‘The Politick Club’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy II 277: As drunk as five Lords.
[UK]Cibber Love Makes a Man I i: I sent young Louis back again, as drunk as a Tinker, by Jove!
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 2 Jan. 82: Let me be as drunk as a Drum, and thou be as sober as Water-Gruel.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 234: They commonly Tipple on till as Drunk as Lords.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy II 165: As drunk as five Lords, and as poor as Job.
[UK]J. Gay ‘A New Song of New Similes’ Poetical Works II (1854) 181: Drunk as a piper all day long.
[Ire]K. O’Hara Tom Thumb II i: The queen Dollalolla’s as drunk as a sow.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 188: The poor Taylor was as Drunk as a Beast.
[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dictionary’ in Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 90: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] As Drunk as a Beggar. [...] Drunk as a Wheel-Barrow.
‘Answer to Jove I’ll be Free’ in Tea Drinking Wife, and Drunken Husband 6: The liquor he’d merrily quaff; And when he was drunk as a lord, At them that was sober he’d laugh.
[UK]J. Townley High Life Below Stairs I iii: There is John Coachman, and Kingston, as drunk as two Bears. [Ibid.] II i: Here he is, drunk as a Piper.
[UK]G. Colman Jealous Wife I i: There you sat, drunk as a lord.
[UK]Gent.’s Mag. 560: I shall not mention the additions that have been made by way of illustration to several of the terms in this list, although taken together, they may be considered as separate phrases; among these are — 1 As drunk as a Devil, 2 As drunk as a Piper, [...] 5 As drunk as a Lord, 6 As fuddled as an Ape, 7 As merry as a Grigg, 8 As happy as a King.
[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 129: Having already made the Money-taker as sucky as a Buffer [drunk as a dog].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Drunk as a Wheelbarrow.
[UK]C. Morris ‘Billy Pitt and the Farmer’ Collection of Songs (1788) 21: And, both drunk as pipers / They knock’d their heads together.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd edn) n.p.: Drunk as a wheel-barrow.
[UK]Sporting Mag. July IV 234/1: Drunk as a piper all day long.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Liberty’s Last Squeak’ Works (1801) V 71: Dundas gets as drunk as a pig.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).
[UK]Sporting Mag. Apr. XIV 56/2: From a Squiress, you’ll straightly a Lady become, / When I am ‘as drunk as a Lord.’.
[UK]R. Anderson ‘Nichol the Newsmonger’ Cumberland Ballads (1805) 6: Our parson he got drunk as muck.
[Ire]Dublin Morn. Register 21 Aug. 3/3: My beautiful bow window he has knocked into smithereens [...] He was drunk as a piper.
[UK] ‘The Modern Beau’ City of London Collection 6: We set round the wine till we’re as drunk as buffers.
[US]M.L. Weems Drunkard’s Looking Glass (1929) 83: He sat in his corner [...] drunk as a lord.
[US]R. Waln Hermit in America on Visit to Phila. 2nd series 23: ‘I warrant the bang-ups have crooked their elbows’ quoth Tom [...] ‘drunk as wheelbarrows’.
[UK](con. early 17C) W. Scott Fortunes of Nigel III 14: All that should assist me are as drunk as fiddlers.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1788].
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 71: ‘Drunk as a fiddler’s bitch,’ would imply that the patient has the buz of music in his ears and will not sit quietly, but danceth about.
[US]Mass. Spy 22 Dec. n.p.: ‘Pretty well corned’ and ‘up to anything,’ / Drunk as a lord, and happy as a king.
Kentucky Intelligencer (Flemingsburg) 29 May 4: Patton informed me that McLaughlin had just gone from Elizabethville, and was ‘drunk as a loon’.
[US]A. Greene Life and Adventures of Dr Dodimus Duckworth II 176: He was seldom downright drunk; but was often [...] as drunk as a lord.
[UK]Mr Mathews’ Comic Annual 21: You’ve heard of the saying, ‘as drunk as a fiddler’s kit’?
[UK]‘The Marriage of Dumpling Bet’ in Fal-Lal Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 22: ‘I’m tired of this here flaring up,’ Bet cried — / ‘I’m drunk as a f—t’.
[UK]‘Rampant Moll Was A Rum Old Mot’ Secret Songster 4: He could dance – he could slog – and get drunk as a hog.
F. Marryat Peter Simple 116: My father was a boatswain before me—one of the old school, rough as a bear, and drunken as a Gosport fiddler.
[UK]‘Paul Pry’ Oddities of London Life I 119: Here—(pulling out a piece of queer-looking composition and swallowing a bit)—ye see I’ve only to tak ane or twa sucks at this, an’ if I was as drunk as a piper, it wad mak me as sober as I was on Sunday evening.
[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 54: Sure you don’t think the Mishis would be rowlin’ on the flure there wid you, dhrunk as a pig.
[UK]Manchester Courier 5 Mar. 3/2: Drunk as a fiddler’s dog.
Thackeray Sketches and Travels (1889) 241: I took care to mix his liquors well, and before eleven o’clock I finished him, and had him as drunk as a lord, sir!
[US] ‘Practical Jokes & Bad Liquor’ in T.A. Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 134: Yes, Judge, drunk as a fool, and forty times as stupid.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 14 Feb. 3/2: [He] found him in a most aristocratic state, i.e. drunk as a lord.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 84: You were as drunk as a besom.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 15 July 2/5: If it wasn’t dhrunk as a fiddler at his brother’s wake he weas.
[US]J. Brougham Basket of Chips 205: If the little ruffian ain’t drunk as a piper.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 26 Feb. 2/5: Were you not calling yourself Lord Dundas [...] and weren’t you as drunk as muck?
[US]T. Haliburton Season Ticket 109: As drunk as a lord.
[UK]Lincs. Chron. 20 Nov. 7/3: The defendant said the complainant had told him he was as ‘drunk as muck’.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 38/1: He oughtn’t to ‘lush’ my wife as he has done. She’s lying in the bar-room now as drunk as blazes.
[US]Vermont Transcript (St Albans, VT) 9 Nov. 2/4: They all got reguarly nappy [...] indeed, Mary Ann was drunk as an owl - as drunk as a wheelbarrow - drunk as four pipers.
[US]M.M. Pomeroy Nonsense 22: Every mosquito was drunk as a blind fiddler.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Hans Breitmann’s Party’ Hans Breitmann’s Party 4: Hans Breitmann gife a barty / Ve all cot troonk ash pigs.
[UK]Cythera’s Hymnal in Pearsall (1969) 378: And I don’t like to see a man, drunk as an earl, / Getting into a lamp post think it’s a girl.
[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 332: I saw the old hag, drunk as a lord, in a station house.
[US]A. Garcia Tough Trip Through Paradise (1977) 99: Beaver Tom was drunk as a fiddler’s bitch again.
Wly Graphic (Kirksville, MO) 13 July 1/5: You are drunk as a loon.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 43: Towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Mar. 20/1: ‘The divil the like av it ever crossed me,’ said one bobby; ‘he is as drunk as a lord yet, be jabbers!’.
Banbury Advertiser 11 Aug. 4/4: The prisoner came home ‘as drunk as muck’ and went to be in her clothes.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 June 4/1: I was tossing up with Billy / As to who should fetch the police / For to cart away the Emu, / Who was drunk as forty geese.
[UK]G.F. Northall Folk-Phrases of Four Counties 8: As drunk as a fiddler’s bitch. / As drunk as a fool. / As drunk as a mop. / As drunk as a parson. / As drunk as a pig.
[UK]E.W. Hornung Amateur Cracksman (1992) 35: I saw you take a neat tumblerful [...] and it’s made you drunk as a fool.
[US]Watauga Democrat (Boone, NC) 9 May 4/1: How can a man get Drunk as a fiddler? Drunk as Davy’s sow? Drunk as a lord? Drunk as blazes? Drunks as the Devil?
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 July 19/4: [T]he coastal consumers of this bad whisky are usually satisfied when they are as drunk as 40 cats [...]. And then the out-back drinker isn’t satisfied unless he is as drunk as 85 cats, and pretty large cats at that, so the whisky that goes with the bogus cork speedily kills him.
[Aus]E.J. Dempsey ‘Fall of Patrick Dooley‘ in Bulletin Reciter n.p.: That ragin’ ould pagan / Made my dhrunk as a lord.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Sept. 15/4: Git up, you guzzlin’ bla’guard ye! Don’t ye take shame to have the neighbors see ye lyin’ there dhrunk ez a pig, an’ yer poor wife ez sober ez a judge all day?
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 5 Feb. 4/7: ‘How are you?’ ‘Not too bally putrid. Come an’ ’ave a drink. Was out at — last night - drunk as a lord wines - whisky. Here’s luck’.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 164: Here he was, drunk as a fool.
[UK]Sporting Times 22 Apr. 1/5: He came home suddenly and found his valet as drunk as the whole peerage.
[US]Omaha Dly Bee (NE) 29 Jan. 31/5: They are as drunk as muck.
[Aus]Gadfly (Adelaide, N.Z.) 12 Dec. 840/1: Drunk as forty, [...] and won’t come home till morning – if then.
[US]Salt Lake Herald (UT) 30 Mar. 4/5: He is [...] drunk as wheelbarrow.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 129: The sthrongest wee Orangeman in Ulsther, comes in at half-time dhrunk as a fiddler.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Jan. 1/5: Percy looked a duke at least — being twice as drunk as a mere lord.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 Dec. 48/1: What-for I made da fuss for her? – I drunk as forty cats!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 July 24/4: I was dthrunk uz Noah ’n’ his 10 sons when I builded it up.
[US]M.E. Smith Adventures of a Boomer Op. 52: They both blow in, drunker than seven million dollars.
[US]G.H. Mullin Adventures of a Scholar Tramp 126: I got drunker than a fiddler’s bitch.
[UK]Boys’ Realm 16 Jan. 265: ‘Drunk as a lord!’ he said.
[UK]R. Carr Rampant Age 305: ‘Drunk, did you say?’ [...] ‘Yeah, drunker’n a dry cop!’.
[US]L. Axley ‘“Drunk” Again’ in AS IV:6 441: A few similes, more or less slanderous, are: ‘dog-drunk,’ ‘drunk as a b’iled owl,’ ‘drunk as a fish,’ and ‘lit up like a church’.
[US] in R. Butterfield Sat. Eve. Post Treasury (1954) 11 July 308: Shiftless is drunk as a fiddler’s dog.
[US](con. 1919) Dos Passos Nineteen Nineteen in USA (1966) 590: Jerry Burnham appeared drunk as a lord carrying a large bouquet of roses.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight 225: He is as [...] drunk as a piper [Ibid.] 227: He may also, comparatively, be as drunk as [...] a fiddler, a Gosport fiddler or, a fiddler’s bitch, the devil, hell, or blazes, drunk as a wheelbarrow, the drum of a wheelbarrow, a fly, a mouse, a rat, a fish, or a tapster, drunk as a besom, a muck, a porter, or a beggar, drunk as a nurse at a christening.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 302: He’s probably drunk as a pig! [Ibid.] 452: I had too much already. I’m drunk as a loon.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 265: She was drunk as a fiddler’s bitch that night.
[UK](con. 1900s) F. Richards Old Soldier Sahib (1965) 87: It was a common sight by stop-tap to see practically every man in the Canteen drunk as rolling f—ts.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 785: We were all drunk as coots down at Little Hungary.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia 197: A train coming, already more than two hours overdue, and there was that old fool, blind as a bat and drunk as a jigger and silly as a cut snake, riding out to meet it.
[US]P.G. Brewster ‘Folk “Sayings” From Indiana’ in AS XIV:4 263: Of an intoxicated man it is said that he is ‘full as a tick,’ ‘full as a goose,’ ‘drunk as a lord,’ ‘three sheets to the wind’.
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night Act III: I’m as drunk as a fiddler’s bitch.
[US]C.R. Bond 13 Oct. in A Flying Tiger’s Diary (1984) 24: The fact that he already was skunk drunk, meant that he usually ended up tossing his cookies.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Color of Murder’ Dan Turner – Hollywood Detective Dec. [Internet] Now he was showing his gratitude by being drunker than a fiddler’s bitch.
[US]R. Chandler Lady in the Lake (1952) 222: Fell asleep a couple of hours ago. I was drunk as a skunk, I guess.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 87: Here are a few more similes snatched from our environment: [...] drunk as a piss ant.
[US]I. Bolton Do I Wake or Sleep in N.Y. Mosaic (1999) 104: Drunk as a lord, of course.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 153: Drunk as a pope. I hadn’t seen him that way for years.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 192: Your dadda as drunk as an earl.
[US](con. 1920) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 273: ‘Drunk as a pissant,’ said Tinker Evens proudly.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 33: The leading man can’t go on. He’s drunk as a bastard.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 407: ‘Drunk as lords,’ she whispered. [Ibid.] 440: I’m going to get drunkern a fiddler’s bitch.
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 9: Drunk as a dog or broke as a beggar, Fitz could spout religion like a hog in a bucket of slops.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 138: They finally caught him in Houma, drunk as a lord.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 119: Old Mr. Pickwick could get drunk as a tinker’s bitch on cold punch.
[US]G. Metalious Peyton Place (1959) 306: He’s in the woodshed, drunk as a skunk.
[UK]H.E. Bates Breath of French Air (1985) 186: Charley was as drunk as a newt. Pickled.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 182: Drunk as a skunk he was.
[UK]B. McGhee Cut and Run (1963) 77: I sat there and got as drunk as a monkey.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 26 May Proud Highway (1997) 338: We drank the best scotch and stayed drunk as loons.
[UK]R. Hauser Homosexual Society 47: He was drunk as a lord then.
[UK](con. 1940s) G. Dutton Andy 240: Snyder’s as drunk as a hog.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 53: Who the hell was he to moralize when he got drunk as a jaybird?
[Aus]B. Wannan Folklore of the Aus. Pub 128: Pissant (or Bastard, Owl, etc.), Drunk as a: very drunk.
[US]E. Thompson Caldo Largo (1980) 64: You’re drunker than shit, man.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 75: One day he came home drunk as a lord.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 106: Drunk as a fiddler’s bitch.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 56: Kleinfeld got drunk as a skunk.
[UK](con. 1940s) O. Manning Sum of Things 418: Saw a squaddie, drunk as arseholes.
[WI]A. Clarke Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack 128: Two sailors we had seen off an English ship [....] ‘drunk as two Nicodemons’.
[UK]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 261: You will be back in Trench Town, drunk as a lord, by nex’ week.
[Aus]J. Davis Dreamers 116: I saw the youngest one down the car park and she was drunk, drunk as a monkey.
[UK]T. White Catch a Fire 112: Drunk as donkeys on Dragon stout.
[UK]A. Payne ‘Minder on the Orient Express’ Minder [TV script] 106: While you’ve been getting drunk as a sack Arthur, I’ve been mugged.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 2: drunk [...] drunk as a koot / goat.
[UK]A. Higgins ‘The Bird I Fancied’ Helsingør Station and Other Departures 169: Freddy himself, the true Scouse, drunk as a skunk and twice as sly.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 45: Common current forms include a bitch [...] as in ‘Frank got drunk as a bitch today’.
[Ire]R. Doyle Woman Who Walked Into Doors 64: I was drunk as a skunk.
[UK]Observer Screen 7 Nov. 20: Ian, a photographer, is seen trying to take pictures [...] while drunk as a lord.
[UK]M. Collins Keepers of Truth 21: He was drunk as a wheelbarrow most evenings!
[US]Mad mag. Aug. 16: She’s giggling nonstop and she’s drunk as a skunk.
[US]D.D. Brazill ‘Lady and the Gimp’ in Pulp Ink [ebook] Barry [...] was as drunk as a skunk.

In phrases

...a duck

drunk; often ext. by and don’t give a fuck/quack.

Fighting Pilgrim Journal 25 Mar. at LiveJournal.com [Internet] I then staggered the 2 miles back home, using my roommate as a living crutch and probably singing show tunes for all I know. Man I was drunk as a duck on sunday.
[US]P. Acosta Pool & Patio 232: I got as drunk as a duck and stoned as a gopher and the kitchen-roundtable-happy-hour was on again and tenants streamed in and out of our apartment.
...a polony [? Fr. phr. soul comme un Polonnais, drunk as a Pole (supposedly mocking the Polish-French Maréchal de Saxe, a great tippler), although the phr. might simply mean drunk as a polony n.1 (1) or sausage, which cannot stand upright]

extremely drunk.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 118/2: Drunk as a polony (Lond.). At first sight this expression might be accepted as very literal, seeing that a sausage cannot stand, and that a polony (corruption of Bologna – celebrated for its sausages) exists under the same conditions. But it is more probably one of the frequent but obscure expressions derived from the French, who to this day say : ‘Soul comme un Polonnais’ – this probably took its origin in reference to Maurice Marechal de Saxe, who, in his drinks, was more Polish than French.
R. Briffault New Life of Mr Martin 20: ‘What about this Pole. A bit sprung, was he?’ [...] ‘He was drunk as a Polony’.
...floey [? misuse of drunk as Chloe adj.]

very drunk.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 118/1: Drunk as Floey (Peoples’). Who it appears was dead drunk – may be a corruption of Flora, but probably a confusion between that comparatively familiar name and ‘Chloe’. If the latter, good instance of the power Swift had to popularize. In the dean’s poems Chloe is always more or less under the influence of drink.