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24th Aug 2018

Every phrase to describe drunkenness ranked by how drunk you actually are

Kyle Picknell

Please do drink, and use words and phrases to describe being drunk, at least semi-responsibly

Typically, it is believed that humans first learnt to communicate after they developed their hunting weapons, primitive hand axes, oval droplets carved out of stone used to hit things, to bash things, to axe things. As the motor neurones and the synapses started firing as the simple caveman eroding down a lump of rock to a point,  presumably the motor skills for language did too, a dormant cortex now alive with possibility, the power of ingenuity gushing through the mind like a flood, the simple caveman brain now a useless lump slowly carving itself into a useful point.

What actually happened, I think, I’m just guessing here, mostly, is something else.

What I think happened is the caveman went hunting with their new handaxes, literally cutting edge at the time, and they fucked shit up. They properly bossed it. They were just punching and grabbing stuff before, with their hands, with their awful, pathetic hands. But now they had axes, so they absolutely smashed the hunting and the gathering and they came back with all sorts of great things: some tasty, tasty elk, a sabre tooth tiger and loads of potentially lethal berries.

What they did then, that night, is they sat around the cave, near the fire, they have fire now as well, I’m assuming, and they ate it all together. They chowed down, together. What they didn’t know was that the berries were actually far more dangerous than they ever imagined, they contained ethanol, and the berries were actually bad berries, gone bad berries, as the ethanol had now fermented.

They got pissed, basically. The cavemen got completely wasted, accidentally, on berries. Bad berries. Again, this is just what I’m imagining. And this was the first use of language as we know it, as verbalised communication, as meaning assigned to noise, the birth of the word itself. And this is the very first time this happened, I am just extrapolating here, as one caveman turned to the other, mouth full of fermented berries, fermented berry juice literally spilling out of his mouth and into his now sticky, grizzly chest hair, and said to the other:

“I’m fucked, mate. I’m absolutely gone here.”

So that is how we have language as we know it in my mind, thanks to a pre-historic sesh, so let’s celebrate that, let’s celebrate the only we should: by ranking all the great phrases and words we have since developed to describe being drunk in order of how drunk you are actually are.

Yeah, let’s do that.


This basically means you are not drunk at all. Not in the slightest. This is what you say when your friend, somewhere further down this dangerous conga line of words, is getting a round of shots in – usually tequila, maybe vodka – and you’re just not feeling it. Like you’re really not feeling it at all.

You have two options here, you either accept the shot and seal your fate, or say you are too tipsy as it is, and save yourself an incredible amount of hassle in the future.

99.99% of us will typically just accept the shot but please do remember: should you not want to wake up spooning a pizza box with a head that feels like radio static, just turn the shot down. That is allowed you know. You are allowed to say no. It is frowned upon, but it is allowed. Try it out, see what Saturday mornings feel like.

They’re surprisingly good!


This is what people who have never ever stayed out past 1am say. I’m sorry, but it is. They have had exactly four single vodka lemonades and the sugar has made them feel a bit giddy. That is all. That is literally all that has happened to them. They turn to you, attempting to stretch their eyes as wide as possible, to tell you they are “feeling a bit waved”, and you sort of have to do that thing where you nod and mouth “oh, really?” and you’re forced to watch them deadly seriously nod back at you, their eyes stretched even wider as though the plastic cup of lemonade they’re holding has brought them close to the very face of God.

They make their excuses and leave within half an hour to go home to cuddle their longterm girl/boyfriend. They do this every single night out until they get married at 24 and spend the rest of their lives together living on the same road as their parents.


This is a word exclusively for Michael McIntyre and fans of Michael McIntyre and is therefore extremely, extremely bad and you should never, ever use it, even if you are, in fact, trolleyed. ESPECIALLY if you’re trolleyed, because then all your friends will immediately realise you are a Michael McIntyre fan and leave you on your own. Trolleyed. In the middle of town. Trolleyed. Maybe, even, inside an actual trolley in ASDA carpark. Trolleyed in a trolley. 2 Trolleyed 2 Trolley.

Do not get abandoned inside a trolley by your mates in ASDA carpark – do not use this word.


Can only be said the night after the night before, at a formal dinner, whilst opening your mouth and miming the chugging of a champagne flute.

Use if you have to, but do be advised: you are now officially a Tory.


Ah yes. You went to University didn’t you? Well done. Well done on that. You went to University and this is what people said there, at University, and you wanted to fit in, didn’t you? You did, didn’t you? That’s fine, that’s totally fine, and using the word ‘hooned’ is fine, and calling yourself things like ‘the hoondog’ and ‘the hoonmeister general’ is all fine, except that you haven’t stopped, have you? It is five years later, and you just haven’t stopped. It’s gone too far, Rupert. Sebastien. Maximillian. You work for the Ministry of Education now, you can stop saying you got absolutely ‘hooned’ last night with your pals. You can honestly stop saying that. Tell them you were sloshed instead.

Three sheets to the wind

I feel like you only ever hear people over a certain age use this one. And what I mean by that is don’t use it unless you are old as fuck because it’s about boats and sails or something?

Yeah, take your nautical metaphors elsewhere, gramps, we have something called ‘getting lit’ now.


Grow up. Just fucking grow up, will you. Stop it.


The Mark Noble of synonyms for being drunk. Mark Noble himself probably says it about eight times a day to describe a variety of circumstances – I wrecked him with a good tackle, my legs are absolutely wrecked, the equilibrium between West Ham’s traditional support and the financial short-termism of the owners is permanently wrecked, I got wrecked last night lads, Wilsh, Obiang, you’re doing all the running today boys – and so on.


Oh, oh you went to the pre-lash, did you? Yeah, it was fun was it? And now you’re lashed, are you? You’re absolutely lashed? And you’re stumbling about with the rest of the fucking lacrosse team from the University of Exeter, the team that couldn’t get into any of the actual sports teams but think they are better than all the actual sports team, and you just keep saying the words lash aren’t you? And, oh look, there are about 40 of you, clogging up the bar ordering single drinks because you’re not actually friends, are you? Sure, you’ve got the hoodies, and you’ve been to Spain for approximately three days together ‘on tour’, but you’ve never actually got a round in together, have you?

You have never actually experienced friendship. That’s all it is, that’s all the lasher is. Someone who has never experienced actual, real, tangible friendship.

On your way

In a perfect world, this is how we would feel all the time, and this is where it would end. Being on your way is like being in a relationship, but that first part, where you actually like the other person and want to spend every waking moment hanging out with them.

What it isn’t like is any bit of the relationship after that, where you spend your days imagining what life would be like if you had just sacked everything off, moved to Alaska and became a semi-professional sled dog racer.

Do you know what that would have been like? Fucking brilliant. Do you know what your life is like now, in your tired, tired relationship, about to get so drunk you try and use your Oyster card for a round of Sambuccas?

Not as good as that. Nowhere near as good. Infinitely not as good as Alaska.


You’ve had a few bevs, you want a few more bevs. You will, therefore, continue bevving, until the requisite amount of bevs has been reached. Ladies and gentleman, I give you: bevved. It does exactly what it says on the bev.


A statement of ratarsedness is usually screamed, from an inch away, directly into your ear by the person in said ratarsed condition. They will then take exactly two steps back away from you and do one of two things: the repeated finger pull back towards the dancefloor or the elaborate fishing rod mime. Either way, you are obliged to follow them. You must follow them, by law. They are ratarsed, and you will be too. Soon. Very, very soon.


Pissed is good. Pissed is safe. Add a ‘well’ before pissed to get ‘well pissed’ and you are really onto something. But pissed isn’t too serious, it’s friendly, it’s fun. “We were just a bit pissed”; it’s not a fivehead rugby weapon trying to either fight or fondle everyone that crosses their path, it’s the fun people in the smoking area showing you all their Pokémon tattoos and telling you about the time they served Jeff Goldblum in Pret.

Add an “out me tree” and you have an excellent metaphor for being drunk. It makes absolutely no sense but somehow it also makes absolute perfect sense. It is magical, it is Shakespearian. Have you ever been so pissed you have fallen out of your tree? Have you? You have, haven’t you? Everyone has.


Binned is good, too. There is nothing better than metaphorically binning yourself. It shows you know exactly who you are, exactly what state you were in, and exactly where you belonged at that precise moment. There is no more powerful display of autonomy and individuality than putting yourself in the bin. Do it. Set yourself free from the heavy weight of it all. Get. In. That. Bin. Put yourself in there and get nice and cosy. Stay there forever. Stay there in the bin. Embrace it. Thrive in that bin. Get out the yankee candles and put up the holiday photographs with friends you no longer speak to; it is your home now. Enjoy. Prosper.


This is a serious one. It’s not even a word, really. What is a munt? Nobody knows, but somehow here it is, miraculous evolving from just a noise to a verb, and a very, very serious one at that. Munted is heavy. Munted is a really, really heavy one. I do not recommend ever getting munted. I got munted once and lost about four weeks of my life to what I can only describe as ‘being so hungover I started imagining I was an octopus so my limbs didn’t feel as heavy’.

Not good. Honestly, not good at all.


Like a sausage. Rather than being the victim of any form physical violence. That’s not on. Can we make that clear, yeah? Like a sausage.

In my opinion, it works. Because at the end of the day is that not all we are, hot sausages trapped inside the chippy counter, waiting to be chosen by someone because all the actual good stuff – like the fried chicken and the nice haddock – has gone, and it is 2am, and someone just wants some actual stodge to fill their stomach before they go home and have approximately 46 minutes sleep and have to crawl to work the next wishing they had not, in fact, consumed said battered sausage that now lives inside them like a chunky malevolent tape worm?



Honestly, a 10/10 word to describe being drunk. Just really, really good. It makes me think of muller corners, which is good, and also Thomas Müller, which is even better. Somehow those things combine in the dull puddle of my mind and it just comes out. “Yeah, I was mullered” and you don’t need to say anything else because, somehow, you’ve already said it all.


Steaming implies that you are some sort of train, already set and locked onto your path, carving forward with laser pointer precision. You simply cannot be stopped and you simply cannot be altered when you are steaming or on your way to being steamed, like a vengeful broccoli.

You are the trans-Siberian, but motionless, stationed in your favourite Wetherspoons, the one that you just call ‘the big Spoons’, ready to embark on your own vast, intercontinental journey to getting absolutely fucking steaming. You’re on the table service app, abusing it, ludicrously bashing in orders of 64 Kronenbourg 1664s to table 64, a single plate of peas and a Fruit Shoot for your mate. It’s not even a banter order, either. You finish everything. Your mate actually wanted a Fruit Shoot in between all the frothy, frothy lager. The peas go down a treat.

You don’t decide to get steaming, it just sort of happens sometimes when the stars align, like when Andy Carroll becomes the best striker in the Premier League for a minimum of 45 minutes at least once every season.

It’s just one of those things, nobody knows how or why, when it started or when it will end. Not even Andy Carroll. Who is, in fact, usually steaming at the time. If you look closely you will see actual steam coming out of his ears. I promise.


Wankered is good because it implies you did something hilarious. Or, even better, it is your own attempt to excuse something you did that was unintentionally hilarious. For instance, you’d usually use it whilst explaining to your mate why you glued together a scarecrow made entirely out of pasta in the kitchen at 4am, or why you slotted their copy of FIFA down the mouth postbox at the end of the road. “I was wankered” you explain to them, trying to hold back the laughter, whilst they hold up the box for the disc, as empty as your heart, and somberly tell you “It’s not funny.”

It is funny. Don’t let him tell you it isn’t funny. It is funny. You were wankered, it was funny, ignore them. Look at them, out the window, standing by the postbox in their dressing gown and slippers, waiting hours for a small man in shorts, arms crossed, absolutely fucking livid about the whole thing. It IS funny.


Imagine, imagine for a second, being so drunk you have actual shit on your face. Imagine that. That’s not a thing you want at all, but that is how drunk you were, that you probably could have ended the night with actual shit on your actual face.

Whose shit? It could be yours, it could be mine, it could be anyone’s shit. You wouldn’t have known. You wouldn’t have had the foggiest idea whose faeces they were, smudged all other your face. And therein lies the beauty, of both getting shitfaced and describing yourself as shitfaced.


This is what your mum says, isn’t it? She got a bit merry last night, that’s all. That’s all that happened at the family gathering when she ended up dancing on the kitchen table with a lampshade over her head, she was just a bit merry.

Do you know what actually happened? She was fucked, mate. She was absolute shitfaced. That’s what actually happened. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Let your hair down Sharon. You deserve it.


This is a big one, really. This is the Citizen Kane of synonyms for ‘just being drunk’. There are a lot of different ways you can say it, and those intricacies are what make it so good but ultimately there is no more powerful sentence in the English language than following up a friendly “How were you feeling last night?” with a simple, resounding, “I was fucked, mate.”

It openly declares all of your misdemeanours from the night before: all the inopportune, soul-baring texts, the befuddled drink spillages and ear-whispers, the bit where you started asking the bouncers if they feel love, and consequently, if they’ve ever felt love for a Tamagotchi. You did, you tell them. You did.

You can forget all these minute, grizzly details, often on purpose, but they will always come flooding back as soon as those three beautiful words are posited into the ether.

I was fucked, mate. I. Was. Fucked. It was the berries.

One too many

The very best, and must only be deployed in one very specific circumstances.

This is that one situation:

“How was last night?”


A bit worse for wear

We have it. The phrase to describe being the drunkest, the absolutely most drunk you could ever possibly be. And it is, simply: “I was a bit worse for wear”.

That might seem a bit disappointing, but think about it, and let me explain. You see when someone says “Oh, I was a bit worse for wear”, those are the words of a completely and utterly defeated individual.

Those are the words of someone who got in at 06:30am, got up for work at 06:36am, fell asleep on the bus, missed their stop for work, had to get the bus back the way they came, missed it again, and was then two hours late.

Their boss randomly decide to check up on them that morning, as it happened, and thus found them to be late, so just sat there, waiting for them, stewing on the edge of their desk cross-legged. Eventually, they smell the awful concoction of alcohol and cigarettes and morning breath and disappointment before the worse for wear worker (WFWW) even enters their field of vision. When they do they notice their hair, the very obviously definitely-not-showered chicken shop grease hair, the nicotine-stained fingernails, the dishevelled look of someone who has just been handed some loose change and a sandwich from a homeless person.

They then get towed into the boss’s office, “just for a chat”. It is not a chat. They get sent home 40 minutes later. In between that, they get the bollocking of a lifetime. It was never going to be “just a chat”. You never believed that for a second.

“I’m a bit worse for wear” is the final bridge, it’s the shameful march out of the office before lunch, the “I’m not drinking again for the rest of the month”, the “I feel so bad I think I’m only going to eat rice, just gigantic plates of rice for rest of my life. Seriously. I’m deadly serious.”

It’s the definitive worst way to be, “a bit worse for wear”, even if it does attempt to downplay its own transcendental state of doom. Use it, but only use it once. Learn from it and never go back. Never be “a bit worse for wear” again. Just get lit or something instead.