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Our Founding Fathers Were Such Drunks, Franklin Put Together A Drunk Dictionary


Like most college students, when I wasn’t hitting the books, I could be found at the local dive bar.

And while my English classes taught me countless lessons about our wonderful language, few things were more enjoyable to me than coming up with colorful synonyms for being inebriated. Long before getting “wasted,” “toasted,” or even “slizzard” was a thing, our favorite founding father, Benjamin Franklin, had his own dictionary for being drunk. Literally.

In a 1737 edition of his newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin circulated his drunken list to the masses by publishing what he called “The Drinker’s Dictionary.” It’s pretty evident that when it came to writing the Constitution, our founding fathers must have had a few pints here and there, because there are more than 220 phrases in the “drunktionary.” And while a handful of these phrases are still used today, most of them have fallen to the wayside.

Here are some of our favorite phrases to best describe having a bit too much to drink.

1. Drunk as a wheelbarrow

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2. Buskey

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3. Piss’d in the brook

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