Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cup n.

SE in slang uses

With ref. to drunkenness

In compounds

cupman (n.)

a drunkard.

Lytton Pompeii II Ch. iii: Oh, a friend of mine! a brother cupman, a quiet dog [...] said Burbo.
cup-shaken (adj.) (also cup-sprung, cup-stricken)


[UK]J. Taylor ‘An Armado’ in Works (1869) I 83: When any of them are wounded, pot-shot, jug-bitten or cup-shaken.
[UK]Gent.’s Mag. 559: To express the condition of an Honest Fellow, and no Flincher, under the Effects of good Fellowship, it is said that he is [...] 18 Cup-stricken, 19 Cup-sprung.
cupshot (adj.) (also cupshotten) [fig. shot by one’s consumption of cups; cit. 1848 is mis-sp.]


[UK]J. Heywood Proverbs I Ch. xi: He was, (as he will be), somewhat cupshotten.
[UK] in W. Harrison Description of England 152: It may be that diuers of them liuing at home, with hard and pinching diet, small drinke, and some of them hauing scarce inough of that, are soonest ouertaken when they come vnto such bankets; howbeit they take it generallie as no small disgrace if they happen to be cupshotten.
[UK]Fuller Holy War Bk III Ch. xvi: The spring-tide of their mirth so drowned their souls that the Turks coming in upon them cut every one of their throats [...] and quickly they were stabbed with the sword that were cup-shot before [F&H].
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 47 I8–25 Apr. 375: These cup-shot blades of Bacchus.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) n.p.: No man ought to call a Good-fellow a Drunkard; but [...] he may without a forfeit say he is [...] cup shot.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK] ‘The Art of Drinking’ in Wit’s Cabinet 138: He is flaw’d, fluster’d, Cup-shot.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. n.p.: Cup-shot, very drunk.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 104/1: Cup-hot [sic], very drunk.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 313/2: cup shot, [...] ivre.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).

In phrases

cup too low, a [the person needs another cup to become more loquacious]

describing someone who remains silent in company.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]M.P. Andrews Better Late than Never 10: I was sadly ’fraid it would make you melancholy; and they tell me you’re already a cup too low.

General uses

In compounds

cup and can (n.) [a cup is filled from a can; thus one friend nourishes the other]

great friends.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: As great as Cup and Cann; or as great as two Inkle-makers.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 88: Miss, I hear that you and Lady Couplers, are as great as Cup, and Can.
cup-tosser (n.)

1. a juggler.

[UK]Brewer Dict. of Phrase and Fable.

2. a fortune-teller who uses tea leaves (occas. coffee grounds) as a medium of prediction.

[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 29 Dec. 1/4: [advert] Specimen plates of the Society's Prize, [...] ‘The Blind Girl at the Holy Well,’ and ‘Cup Tossing,’ may be seen, and every information obtained, at W.A. Coleman’s Book and Stationery warehouse.
[Aus]Sth Aus. Register (Adelaide) 19 Sept. 2/5: ‘The most jury-packing, road-jobbing, paper-reading, buckeen-breeding, sea-bathing, car driving, cockle-eating, cup-tossing, tea-and-whisky drinking, ribbon-lodging, orange-lodging, fighting, shouting, landlord-hooting, pig-jobbingest, potato-lovingest, good-for-nothingest nation on the face of the universal globe’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
Freeman’s Jrnl (Sydney) 18 Aug. 4/2: ‘Bad cess to the thief! that a cup-tosser tould him he'd die of stoppage of breath’.
Kilmore Free Press (Vic.) 20 Jan. 1/5: His aunt Oonnagh the cup tossed, shouted ‘Caubeen, ye fool, don’t be a gommock, and part with your stick, for you’ll require it before divel a long’.
[Ire]L. Mackay My Oul’ Town 72: Sure, everybody knows what takes the lasses to star-gazers, cup-tossers, an’ the like; it’s just to know if they will get husbands!
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.