Green’s Dictionary of Slang

skinful n.

also skinfull
[lit. a skin full of alcohol]

1. a very large amount of alcohol; esp. in phr. have/get a skinful, to get very drunk.

[[UK]Greene James IV III i: Go, dispatch, and bring it me to yonder Taverne thou seest; and assure thy selfe thou shalt both have thy skin full of wine, and the rest of the mony].
[[Ire]‘Mac O Bonniclabbero of Drogheda’ Bog Witticisms XXXIV 38: The Butler [...] took Occasion to fill his Skin with what the Cellar afforded].
[UK]O. Goldsmith She Stoops to Conquer Act I: I’ll wager the rascals a crown, / They always preach best with a skinful.
[UK]C. Dibdin ‘Drop of the Creature’ Collection of Songs II 47: Let the storm or the Spaniards come on, / So but sea room I get, and a skin full of grog, / I fear neither devil nor don.
[UK]C. Dibdin Yngr Song Smith 85: It was Murphy Delaney, so funny and frisky, / Popp’d in a sheebeen shop to get his skin full.
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 260: Boy, wert snug ashore there, thee’d get a skinful.
[[US]J.K. Paulding John Bull in America 75: ‘O,’ answered he [...] ‘this is what we call Dutch courage; and I assure you upon my credit, that I never knew a genuine brother Jonathan who could be brought to face an enemy, or die with decency, unless he had his skin full of whiskey, and well ‘corned,’ as we say’].
[UK]‘May Day Morning’ in Capt. Morris’s Songs in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 222: There’ll be plenty of moonshine / With a skin full of porter and gin.
[US]North-Carolinan (Fayetteville, NC) 18 Nov. 1/6: Drunk [...] shot in the neck, half-shot, a skin full.
[UK]G.A. Sala Twice Round the Clock 228: Men [...] who are about to partake of a capital dinner and a skinful of wine.
[UK]Leeds Times 28 Mar. 6/5: Lord send as ’ow it war a penny a gallon, so hevery cove could get a skinful for ’arf a dollar.
[UK]Besant & Rice Son of a Vulcan I 183: Bob [...] is asleep on the settle, with no supper at all but a skinful of beer.
[UK]J. Keane On Blue Water 189: They were all foreigners but one, and every one had a '‘skin full’ when brought aboard.
[UK]J. Runciman Chequers 85: They were reasonably anxious to secure a skinful, and they feared lest my powers might prove abnormal.
[US]Sun (NY) 21 May 6/4: One might say, for instance, he is ossified [...] has a shine on, has a skinful.
[Aus]Gadfly (Adelaide) 18 July 18/2: For the last month the bungs have been retailing all the hog-wash in the cellars. Some of them had to close at 9 o’clock, as the supply of wallop had petered out, such was the demand for a final skinful.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Sept. 40/4: W’ile Billo ’is skinful must get / No matter who pays it or how; / No wonder we’re mostly in debt – / W’y didn’t I marry the chow?
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 3: I don’t go over with a skinful [...] but, by God, when I come back I want it.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 175: Once in a while I’d get too much of a skinful and I’d have to stick my finger down my throat.
P.C. Wren Uniform of Glory 44: He had a skinful, instead of a toothful.
[Ire](con. 1860s) G.A. Little Malachi Horan Remembers 79: I mind one time and I only a lad I made a few shillings, so down I went to Jobstown and bought myself a skinful of porter. I was fit to die the next morning.
[Aus]D. Stivens Courtship of Uncle Henry 30: Let’s dump them and pick up a couple who’ll give us a good time — like the two what took us to Prince’s. My, didn’t we get a skinful.
[US]F. Brown Fabulous Clipjoint (1949) 30: A guy starting home with a skinful of beer might easy want to cut through an alley.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 11: The rich, you see, are apt to be careless when going to bed late [...] especially if they’ve had a skinful.
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 186: She knew to look at me when I finally got out of bed that I’d had a skinful the night before.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 45: Half the boys [...] had a skinful.
[UK]J. Braine Waiting for Sheila (1977) 149: If Henry wanted a whisky on top of a skinful, she let him have it.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 80: I guess you still can’t beat a good Chow feed if you’ve had a skinful.
[UK]J. Baker Death Minus Zero (1998) 34: How long since you had a good skinful?
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 64: Dave waited for him to come out of the pub one night with his usual skinful.
[UK]D. O’Donnell Locked Ward (2013) 311: It’s nae mair than Ian does on a Friday night, after a skinful.

2. (also skin) a large amount.

[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Scornful Lady I i: What a skinful of lust is this!
[UK]J. Catnach Tom and Jerry’s Rambles Through Paris 1: Well wallop the Frenchmen rarely ... O And give them a skin-full before we go.
[UK]D. Jerrold Men of Character III 87: I’m sure I could have taken a good skinful of it.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson ‘Old Pardon, the Son of Reprieve’ Man from Snowy River (1902) 12: But, ‘dosing’ or ‘stuffing’, those fellows / Were up to each move on the board: / They got to his stall—it is sinful [...] And they gave him a regular skinful / Of barley—green barley—to chew.
[WI]J.G. Cruickshank Negro Humour 56: Dat man. Sah! He mek a skin a money!

3. the state of being drugged.

[US]D. Hammett ‘The Gatewood Caper’ Story Omnibus (1966) 149: She’s had a skinful of hop ever since we started.