Green’s Dictionary of Slang

souse n.

[? backform. f. soused adj.]

1. a drunkard; also attrib.

[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy I 21: And lately had Poson’d himself, / With bumpers of claret, / No Souse paing for it.
[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 140: An all-night souse without shoes or socks.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 23 Feb. 34/1: She was just a lady souse, with [...] a breath like a whiff of sewer gas.
[US]R. Lardner ‘The Facts’ Coll. Short Stories (1941) 467: ‘Where to?’ asked a porter. ‘Souse,’ said Billy. ‘I can see that [...] but where you goin’?’.
A. Baer Metropolitan Hotels 1 Jan. [synd. col.] Souse conventions in every corridor.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 4: [They] were piling into the high-powered Buzz-Wagons for a Spin out to the Home for Polite Souses.
[US]K. Brush Young Man of Manhattan 221: Hey, wake up, you big souse!
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night Act III: A dumb barmaid, who thought he was a poor crazy souse.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 19: We had three gimlets, not doubles, and it didn’t do a thing to him. That much would just get a real souse started.
[US]N. Thornburg Cutter and Bone (2001) 234: You’d only spend it on spirits, poor souse that you are.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 127: One who is intoxicated with alcohol—a boozehound, rummy, sot, souse, or wino if habituallly so.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 263: A fat souse who pumped your hand.

2. a state of drunkenness.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Down the Line 106: His chips were all in and he was Simon with the Souse, for sure.
[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 55: So he hot footed up the line an’ collected himself one bad souse. He come rollin’ in at daylight, down an’ out.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 5 Mar. 8/1: [He] gets an awful souse at the wedding supper and [...] blabs it all out.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ You Should Worry cap. 5: Despair would grab him and, like Dike, he'd be Simpson with the souse thing for sure.
A. Baer Speeches of Fuller Durham 8 Aug. [synd. col.] There are tides in the lives of all gents, which, if taken at the flood, lead to an awful souse.
Minneapolis Star (MN) 12 Nov. 22/1: ‘Dehorns [...] eat canned heat to get a souse’.

3. a drinking bout.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Out for the Coin 52: He gets good and kippered with the souse thing.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 173: ‘You must a-had a souse last night,’ Tom grinned.
[US]A. Baer Two & Three 24 Dec. [synd. col.] The senator from Pennsylvania will object to the senator from the south sleeping off a souse at the Pennsylvania gentleman’s desk.
[US]C. Coe Hooch! 6: Just as soon’s he gets his pay he’s off on a grand souse.
[US]W. Scott ‘Take ’Im Alive’ Und. Mag. May [Internet] Greetings, Hardhead. Going to shell out like a beer baron on a souse, eh?

In compounds