Green’s Dictionary of Slang

drink v.

[drink n.4 (1)]

(UK Und.) to be susceptible to bribery; thus code between newly arrested criminal and police officer Do you drink, officer?

[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 181: ‘Does he drink?’ may mean ‘Is he willing to be bribed?’.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

drinkage (n.) [-age sfx]

(US campus) alcohol, esp. beer.

Technique (Georgia Tech.) 29 Mar. [Internet] She most likely learned her heavy drinking habits in Pennsylvania, where due to state law, beer can only be purchased by the case. That’s twenty-four beers, meaning a whole lot of drinkage.

In phrases

drink all out (v.)

to empty one’s glass.

[UK]Palsgrave Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse n.p.: Verbes: Drinke to you [...] you must drinke agayne for you tolde me not whether you dranke to a marke or els all out.
[UK]Boorde Introduction of Knowledge (1870) 151: There be many a good felowes, the wyche wyll drynke all out.
[UK]R. Verstegan Decayed Intelligence 13: To say drink a Garaus... which is to say all-out [F&H].
[[UK]R. Cotgrave Dict. of Fr. and Eng. Tongues n.p.: alluz all-out; or a carouse fully drunk up].
drink at Freeman’s Quay (v.) (also lush at Freeman’s Quay) [SE drink/lush v. (2); the free drinks distributed at this quay near London Bridge to porters and carmen in 1810–80; the RN amplified it to Harry Freemans (and used it for anything, not merely drink, that was free), while the British Army shortened it to Freemans]

to drink at another’s expense.

[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Freeman’s Quay. Free of expense. To lush at Freeman’s Quay; to drink at another’s cost.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 169: Freeman’s quay ‘drinking at freeman’s quay,’ i.e., at another’s cost. This quay was formerly a celebrated wharf near London Bridge, and the saying arose from the beer which was given gratis to porters and carmen who came there on business.
drink like a fish (v.) (also ...like a goldfish, …a sieve, ...a well) [SE in 20C+]

to drink heavily.

[UK]Fletcher Night-Walker IV i: Give me the bottle, I can drinke like a Fish now.
[UK]Farquhar Sir Harry Wildair II i: Drink like a Fish, and swear like a Devil.
[UK]W. King York Spy 22: These slouching mute Disciples drank like Fish.
[UK]C. Hitchin Conduct of Receivers and Thief-Takers 14: I see they drink Geneva like Fishes.
A York Dialogue between Ned and Harry 16: They will sit from three till ten at night, and drink like fishes.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Dec. XIII 173/1: And soon the cellar’s stock was sunk, / He’d drink so like a fish!
[UK]F.F.Cooper Elbow-Shakers! I iv: Here’s to her who can drink as hard as a fish.
[UK] ‘Cock Salmon’ in Frisky Vocalist 40: He would drink like a fish and was thought a good soul.
[UK]D. Boucicault London Assurance in London Assurance and other Victorian Comedies (2001) Act II: Permit me to introduce my friend Augustus Hamilton. (Aside to Max) Capital fellow! Drinks like a sieve and rides like a thunderstorm.
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick’s Wise Saws I 44: He drinks, as he says, ‘like a fish’.
[UK]J. Greenwood Little Ragamuffin 147: A thunderin’ old cat [...] drinks like a fish.
[UK]J. Payn ‘An Aunt by Marriage’ in High Spirits I 290: He drank like a gold-fish.
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa (1887) 100: He has gone to drinking again, like a fish.
[UK]H. Nisbet Bushranger’s Sweetheart 199: She could drink like a fish [and] swear like a trooper.
[US]Bisbee Dly. Rev. (AZ) 21 Apr. 3/3: Oh! Mamma says you drink like a fish.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Comeback’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 204: Down and out, and drinking like a fish.
[US] in J.F. Dobie Rainbow in Morning (1965) 82: He’s a regular Strap Buckler; i.e., drinks like a fish.
[UK]V. Palmer Passage 263: Hughie was so upset he was drinking like a fish.
[US]J. Tully Shanty Irish 135: He drinks like a well.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 33: They swore like navvies, drank like fishes, and fought like hell amongst themselves.
[UK]Mass-Observation Report on Juvenile Drinking 11: Look at those bloody little bitches over there [...] they drink like fish, and they take the sailors, asking for trouble, and when they’re left in the cart they wail about it.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 101: These society toms drank like fishes.
[US]N. Proffitt Gardens of Stone (1985) 134: Your mom drinks like a goldfish.
drink of sauce’s cup (v.) (also eat sauce) [SE saucy, insolent]

to be abusive or insolent.

[UK]Skelton Bowge of Courte line 72: She sayde she trowed that I had eten sause; She asked yf ever I dranke of saucys cuppe.
[UK]Skelton Magnyfycence line 1404: Ye have eten sauce, I trowe, at the Taylers Hall.
drink on the whip (v.) (also drink of the whip, lick on the whip)

to receive a thrashing.

[UK]Towneley Mysteries ‘Processus Noe Cum Filiis’ (2) line 378: In fayth, and for youre long tarying Ye shal lik on the whyp.
[UK]Hist. of Jacob and Esau V vi: If [...] thou are caught in a trippe, Nay for his sake, Abza, ye shall drinke of the whippe.
[UK]G. Gascoigne Steele Glas Fi: Comes naked neede? and chance to do amisse? He shal be sure, to drinke vpon the whippe.
drink out of the same bottle (v.)

(orig. UK Und., later use US) to be close friends.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 117/1: We couldn’t have wished for a pleasanter termination of the quarrel [...] and once more we all drank out of the same bottle.
drink the Dolphin waters (v.) [the notorious laxity of the prison’s regime: prisoners could easily obtain alcohol; there may be a further ref. to a nearby Dolphin public house]

to be imprisoned for debt.

[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 279: I should not be surprised if he was [...] under the especial protection of the King’s servants, and ordered by his body physician to drink the Dolphin Waters for a few weeks [...] Take a stroll into the King’s Bench [i.e. a debtor’s prison] and, if you require any further explanation concerning the Dolphin Waters, you will find plenty of the Collegians quite eloquent upon the subject.
drink with the flies (v.) (also have one with the flies) [a situation in which there are no companions other than the flies – whose presence is, of course, unwelcome]

(Aus.) to drink by oneself; also attrib. ; note extrapolation in cit. 1912.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 July 11/2: There are so many economies in drinking with the flies that the Kurruk’s preference for having its whisky by itself is quite understandable.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 July 4/7: The battler, with bluey up and corks around his hat, drawing mud-maps and drinking with the flies.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Nov. 15/2: Up against a groggery he got into conversation with a tall, dignified gentleman, whom he asked to come and refresh – the Maitland man was not one to mop liquor with the flies.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 13 Oct. 1: A wowser is a criminal, and often he is a drunkard, a sly drink-with-the-flies sort of a drunk, and unfortunately for wowserism in New Zealnd, wowsers are being found out every day.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 28: Drink with the flies: a drink consumed without the company of others. Also, to drink alone.
[Aus]J. O’Grady Aussie Eng. (1966) 40: ‘Having one with the flies’, or ‘drinking with the flies’ — a man standing alone at the bar, buying drinks for himself.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 114: Better have a drink before I expire. Hate drinking with the flies. You’d better join me.
[Aus]A. Chipper Aussie Swearers Guide 79: A man who refuses to shout [...] soon drinks with the flies (i.e. alone).
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 22: Drink with the flies: A person who is an outcast of society, or otherwise disliked by society, is said to drink with the flies because they are his only companions.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 132: Terms like jimmy woodser and he’s drinking with the flies echo this disapproval of the solitary imbiber.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.