Green’s Dictionary of Slang

heavy wet n.

also heavy, heavy whet
[‘Heavy wet, malt liquor, because the more a man drinks of it, the heavier and more stupid he becomes’ (Hotten, 1867)]

1. a heavy drinking bout; also attrib.

[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London II 100: It is only a heavy wet party among the coal-heaving coves.

2. malt liquor; also a mixture of porter and beer; cit. 1992 prob. refers to another drink.

[UK]J. Burrowes Life in St George’s Fields 17: Strike me funny but I’d rather have been blowing a cloud with a pot of heavy before me.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 392: The sturdy Porter, sweating beneath his load, may here refresh himself with heavy wet; the Dustman, or the Chimney-sweep, may sluice his ivory with the Elixir of Life, now fashionably termed Daffy’s.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 37: Heavy whet! heavy whet! whet, I cry; / Full and fair pots when I’m dry.
[UK]Cruikshank & Wight Sun. in London 77: Tom and Jerry shop. Two pots of heavy above board. Four qvort’ns of max on the sly.
[UK] ‘A Favourite Parody’ Lummy Chaunter 74: But after that she’d get so drunk, / With gin and heavy wet.
[UK]‘Bon Gaultier’ ‘The Nutty Blowen’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 125: Her lovely mug was smiling o’er mugs of heavy wet.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 18 Feb. 3/2: He tumbled headlong, and was over-whelmed in heavy wet.
[Ind]Bellew Memoirs of a Griffin I 50: Comfortable cits dine and drink heavy wet.
[UK]C. Selby London by Night I ii: As far as an injun, pannum, and cheese, and a drop of heavy goes, you are perfectly welcome.
[Aus]‘A Week in Oxford’ in Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Nov. 4/4: Here we are, a jolly set, / Smoking, drinking heavy wet, / Happy while the tin we get / Smart young bachelors.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 173: The heavier articles [of food] being washed down by draughts of ‘heavy’.
[UK]F. Smedley Harry Coverdale’s Courtship 302: ‘It’s a pint of half-and-half,’ observed Jack [...] ‘Or “heavy” wet, if he were out in the rain,’ added the guardsman.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 107/2: Then wine was gone up, but the ’alf-an’-’alf, and porter! Heavens! what a quantity was punished, and foremost in the floggers of the ‘heavy’ stood George Bull. [Ibid.] 123/1: We had put in a good ‘stiff-un’ before leaving the public-house, and cared little about the soaking we were receiving outside while we had a heavy wet within.
[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 194: The coal-heaver, who with the back of his dirty hand brushes the grime from his lips ere they are allowed to salute the chaste rim of the shining pewter measure that contains his ‘heavy wet’.
[UK]J. Runciman Chequers 86: Mother up with your heavy wet and try suthin’ short.
[UK]G.R. Sims ‘The Cigarette’ Dagonet Ditties 94: Our youth, alas! have grown of late / So languid and effeminate, / They’ve dropped cigars and heavy wet / For lemon-squash and cigarette.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 1 Sept. 3/6: The language of the London East-end pub [...] ‘bunker’ and ‘heavy wet’ — Beer.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Poetry in Prosaic Places’ Sporting Times 19 Feb. 3/2: The amount of heavy wet / He absorbed ’gainst all dictates of common-sense.
[UK](con. 1835–40) P. Herring Bold Bendigo 124: Come over to the Reindeer, and have a mug of heavy wet.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight 234: Wet, a generic name for booze or wet-goods, particular varieties being known as heavy-wet, i.e. porter.
[US] (ref. to early 19C) A.J. Liebling ‘The University of Eighth Avenue’ in A Neutral Corner (1990) 35: The fighters joined their admirers in lushing [...] Heavy Wet, which was ale.
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 69: ‘Give me a heavy wet on the rocks,’ he said to Joe, the bartender.
[UK](con. 1950s) J. Byrne Slab Boys [film script] 130: Gonnae get us a half pinta heavy?
[UK]C. Brookmyre A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away 8: Drinking becks makes him cooler than the bloke standing next to him with a pint of heavy.

3. a downpour, a rainstorm.

[UK] ‘Gallery of 140 Comicalities’ Bell’s Life in London 24 June 2/5: A Squall off Margate. Oh, lawks, I’ve lost my umbrella [...] This is heavy vet with a wengeance!
[UK]Norfolk Chron. 17 Aug. 2/3: The copious rain which fell on Friday night last operated as a ‘heavy wet’ on the public gardens’ exhibitions.
[UK]Cambridge Chron. 12 July 6/3: We sincerely hope that the weather will be propitious [...] ‘heavy wet’ outside is not agreeable to riflemen.
[UK]Western Times 31 July 5/7: They enjoyed a short stroll [until] ‘heavy wet’ came on.
[UK]Gloucester Citizen 16 June 4/7: The heavy wet [was] blamed for the sparse attendance.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 76: Rain — Heavy wet.