1. a drunkard, usu. with old; note earlier soaker n.1 (1)
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Poems Rural Life (3rd edn) 99: And hearty soaks oft hand the bottle round .|
|City Looking Glass V i: What fools men are to get drunk. – Here soak, you rogue.|
|Cheltenham Examiner 10 Aug. 3/4: ‘Old King Cole was a merry old soak’.|
|N.-Y. After Dark 63: The customers are [...] expressively named ‘bloats,’ ‘old soaks,’ ‘bummers,’ ‘rummies,’ ‘tods’ and so on.|
|Tough Trip Through Paradise (1977) 103: A fine large man, but now useless and only a whiskey soak.|
|World (N.Y.) 7 Aug. 10/3: From the seats in right field Anson is continually called a ‘lunkhead,’ a ‘duffer’ and an old ‘soak,’ while Ewing is lauded to the skies.|
|Coventry Eve. Teleg. 1 Apr. 4/3: ‘Why don’t you swear off? Old Soak ‘I be sworn off water.|
|Boss 192: Th’ difference between that soak an’ th’ best lawyer at the New York bar is less’n one hundred dollars.|
|Arizona Nights II 215: The regular inhabitants’re a set of Mexican bums and old soaks.|
|Hand-made Fables 153: The Man who wasn’t strictly on the Rainwater they classed with Joe Morgan, the Village Soak.|
|New York Day by Day 16 Sept. [synd. col.] Ice cream parlors were the meeting places of the old soaks he knew in the old days.|
|Enter the Saint 158: He calmly annexed Mr. Conway’s tankard and sank into a chair. ‘Well, soaks,’ he remarked, ‘how was the English countryside looking this afternoon.’.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 271: He wondered, too, if he didn’t marry, would he be an old soak.Young Manhood in|
|Dly Mirror 27 Aug. 24/7: [advert] My husband thought I was an old ‘soak’.|
|Our Hidden Lives (2004) 271: Much scandal, too, is circulating at present about members of the Government. Bevin, it is said, is a ‘soak’.7 Sept. diary in Garfield|
|Of Love and Hunger 136: That old soak. What’s he doing these days?|
|Small Time Crooks 85: Joe’s creased brown face took on a kind of comic look like a soak in a movie seeing things double.|
|Chicago: City On the Make 32: Old soaks’ goat’s nests, backstreet brothels.|
|Crust on its Uppers 71: ‘Oh all right,’ I say, eyes gleaming, the poor soak.|
|Gone Fishin’ 70: If it isn’t the old rum-soak himself.|
|Smiley’s People 171: Get the old soak another drinkie, double-quick.|
|Stage (London) 29 Aug. 25/1: Credric’s mother is an old soak.|
|Indep. 14 June 20: Sinclair’s new biography of the Welsh soak with the mad-cherub eyes.|
|Beyond Black 340: It’s only me had to listen to that stinky old soak.|
|Dry Store Room No. 1 144: Genes, like old soaks, can evidently be pickled in spirits.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|Guardian Guide 10–16 July 53: The reporter’s old soak colleague.|
3. (US) a drink.
|Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) XV July in Inge (1967) 48: Give him a soak at the crock and a lick of the patent bee-hive.‘The Knob Dance’|
4. a heavy drinking session.
|Inside View of Slavery 51: When the Southron intends to have a ‘soak,’ he takes the bottle to his bed-side, goes to bed, and lies there till he gets drunk.|
|‘Yer Never Ask’d ’Im For It’ [lyrics] An’ in Court ’is nibs is saucy! [...] ’E declares we’ve never been upon the soak.|
|Three Elephant Power 75: When no ships arrive, the Islanders just drop into the pubs, as a matter of routine, for their usual evening soak.‘Thirsty Island’ in|
|True Drunkard’s Delight 227: He has been on the skyte, bend, loose, soak.|
|Come in Spinner (1960) 24: ‘Dalgety must have had a soak this time.’ ‘Elvira says she’s been on the binge ever since she came to town and that’s nearly a week ago.’.|
|Da Bomb [Internet] 26: Soak: A [...] bout of drinking.|
5. a despised person.
|DN II:i 61: soak, n. An unpopular fellow.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|Babbitt (1974) 65: The poor soak doesn’t make but eighteen hundred a year.|
|Breaking of Bumbo (1961) 51: Mad Mike [...] plus the soak, no-soda-please, Mack-Jones.|
(W.I.) a habitual drunkard, an alcoholic.
|cited in Dict. Jam. Eng. (1980).|
|Humours of Oxford II i: How many great Matches have I refus’d on your Account? – there was Mr. Rakewell of Queens [...] Mr. Soakpot of Maudlin.|
|Devil Upon Two Sticks 27: Dr. Linctus, from Leyden, run me up a bill of thirty odd pounds, for only attending Alderman Soakpot six days in a surfeit.|
(US) to drink heavily.
|Billy Baxter’s Letters 22: I’ve never said much about it, but you let any of these fellows who own horses get a soak on, and they get to be a kind of a village pest.|