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Word of the Week (180): BABALAS (probability 32141), by David Sutton

BABALAS (or BABBELAS) is a Zulu word for drunk.

It perhaps says something about the human condition that the vocabulary of drunkenness should so far exceed the vocabulary of sobriety. Say that a man is sober and no further synonyms seem to be required, but for the bibacious and vinolent a bewildering array of euphemisms presents itself. BLOOTERED, BLADDERED, BLOTTO, BOUSY, DRUCKEN, FOU, KAYLIED, LAGERED, MOPPY, SHICKERED, SQUIFFY, STINKO, STOCIOUS (or STOTIOUS), SWACKED, SWIPEY, TIDDLY, TIPSY, WHISKEYFIED (or WHISKIFIED) - take your pick. Or you may prefer to say, somewhat mysteriously, 'I was a little CAPERNOITED last night' (this from the Scots, a race who have contributed so much to the thesaurus of intoxication) or to go with the quite respectable-sounding TEMULENT.

As for nouns denoting drunkards, the choice is no less. ALCO, ALKO or ALKIE, COUGAN, DIPSO, DRONKLAP, FUDDLER, JUICEHEAD, MALTWORM, PISSHEAD, PLONKO, SCOZZA, STEWBUM, SUIPLAP, SWIZZLER, TOPER, TOSSPOT.

But if you want to play a good game of Scrabble, it's probably best to stay UNLIQUORED. Anyone wish to adduce evidence to the contrary?


   













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