Word of the Week 2022 – Trousered

As ‘trousered’ enters the Oxford English Dictionary with a citation for Sir Billy Connolly, we share some other great booze related words and phrases.

As ‘trousered’ enters the Oxford English Dictionary with a citation for Sir Billy Connolly, we share some other great booze related words and phrases

“More is more and less is a bore” is the mantra that nonagenarian Iris Apfel lives by and she’d most certainly approve of the latest word to enter the Oxford English Dictionary – “trousered.”


Coined by Sir Billy O’Connolly during a 1977 newspaper interview and no doubt to be viewed as the bigging-up the behaviour of the Antichrist by those observing the tedious #DryJanuary in 2022, this morning the MailOnline reported that the comedian first used it when he said: “After I’ve finished [on stage] I can get totally trousered along with the best of them. But I never touch the stuff before.”


Surprising himself a teetotaler since the 1980s, Sir Billy’s contribution has been entered as: “Slang (chiefly British and Irish English). Drunk, intoxicated” and of it, Kate Wild, the dictionary’s chief editor, remarked:


“The newly added sense of ‘trousered’ meaning ‘drunk’ expands what is already one of the largest categories, ‘drunk,’ which contains over 200 words: from Old English ‘fordrunken’ through to late 20th-century coinages such as ‘wazzed’ and ‘mullered.’”


Sir Billy O’Connolly might not have touched a drop since the 1980s and may well have successfully avoided the hooch whilst on night’s out, but he truly will now go down in history for getting the slang word “trousered” into the pillar of the establishment’s go-to-bible, the Oxford English Dictionary.
Iris Apfel is 100 years old and she hasn’t yet stopped drinking. We say: “Cheers to her and cheers to that.”

Great Drinking Phrases

To describe someone who has imbibed a little too much alcohol also, instead of using Sir Billy O’Connolly’s favoured description, you could remark:


“Och, aye, you’re slightly over-refreshed” (if you happen to be Scottish).


To respond to someone moaning about what time it is acceptable to have the first drink of the day:


“If you can’t have one at eleven, have eleven at one.”


“Time is only for the middle classes.”


“It must be 6pm somewhere in the world.”


“They say: ‘No wine before nine,’ but they don’t specify am or pm.”


“Any day, anytime, anywhere.”


Wise Drinking Advice During The Coronavirus Pandemic

“If you’ve had enough, pour yourself a G&T, you have my permission.”

BBC Radio 4 ‘Woman’s Hour’ presenter Anita Rani on home-schooling parents during the January 2021 lockdown.


“[Alcohol is] the only drug you do not have to apologise for taking… [I] associate drinking with friendship and good times… The advice to ‘drink responsibly’ is the world’s most boring phrase.”

BBC presenter Adrian Chiles on drinking during lockdowns.


“Every Friday in lockdown, my neighbour has left a delicious gin and tonic at my front door. Beats tinned tomatoes hands down.”

Madeline Glancy of Prestwich, Lancashire in a letter to ‘The Telegraph’ in May 2020.


“My neighbour leaves a huge gin and tonic on my garden table at 2pm each afternoon we then holler ‘cheers’ over the fence. Wonderfully welcome!”

Reader of ‘The Steeple Times’ Jo Griffiths.


Television presenter Adrian Chiles is right to have lamented the overuse of the tedious “drink responsibly” mantra forced upon us.
The gin swigging Lillian Bellamy – the character played by the delightfully sunny Sunny Ormonde in the long-running BBC Radio 4 drama series ‘The Archers’ – brings joy wherever she goes and is a reminder than gin doesn’t actually make anyone depressed. If you want depression, just look at Boris Johnson and his rotten government; if you want joy, pour yourself a stiff G&T.

Wise Words About Gin

“Let the evening beGIN!”



“I don’t know what reception I’m at, but for God’s sake, give me a gin and tonic.”

The well-known gin lover and husband of Margaret Thatcher, Denis Thatcher.


“Life is too short for single gins.”



“Red meat and gin.”

America’s answer to Keith Floyd, Julia Child, on the reason for her longevity.


“I love water, especially when it’s frozen and surrounded by gin.”



“Myself, I’m a fan of the gin without the tonic. Why on God’s great earth would you want to water down such masterpiece?”

Reader of ‘The Steeple Times’ ‘The Stray Cat.’


“I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.”

American actor and comedian W. C. Fields.


“Gin-drinking is a great vice in England, but wretchedness and dirt are a greater [vice].”

Charles Dickens, ‘Sketches’ (1836).


“When life gives you juniper, make gin!”

Holistic health author Laurie Buchanan.


“Don’t cry over spilt milk, it could’ve been gin.”



Night school tutor: “Write a horror story in six words.” Student: “I-have-run-out-of-gin.”



“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”

Noël Coward.


“The proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.”

American historian Bernard DeVoto.


“The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”

Winston Churchill.


“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Humphrey Bogart as Rick in ‘Casablanca’ (1942).


“Gym? I thought you said: ‘Gin.’”



“The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron.”

Comedian Phyllis Diller.


“Stop saying I’m hard to buy for… You know where the gin aisle is.”



“Gin drinkers are sassy, classy and just a little smart assy.”



“You’d learn more about the world by lying on the couch and drinking gin out of a bottle than by watching the news.”

American radio personality Garrison Keillor.


“Fortunately, there is gin, the sole glimmer in this darkness. Do you feel the golden, copper-coloured light it kindles in you? I like walking through the city of an evening in the warmth of gin.”

French philosopher and journalist Albert Camus.


“I tried to say no to gin… But it’s 40% stronger than me”



“I’ll stick with gin. Champagne is just ginger ale that knows somebody.”

Dr. Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H.


“Things, since you left, have not gone well with me: they have taken me from a place where there was gin to a place where there is no gin.”

British barrister and detective story author Sarah Cockburn (pseudonym Sarah Caudwell).


“According to chemists, gin IS a solution.”



“Gin is not A solution. It is always THE solution.”

Reader of ‘The Steeple Times’ Shaun Keaveny.


“Gin and drugs, dear lady, gin and drugs.”

The reply of T. S. Eliot when asked about inspiration.


“It’s always gin o’clock.”



View Comments

  • I am teetotal and I find this page upsetting. You should not be glorifying alcohol. It is an evil drug and worse than cannabis and heroin.

  • In the Five Spot Bar in Absarokee Montana USA. the locals used to say " Ahm done timbered and come untrained" .usually no more than 6 people are present to guffaw ..or, they used to before the Californians invaded ..now they have Starbucks and online shopping..this must be modern times...and the blessed relief of brews and cocktails remains essential. Wit revealed so much fun.

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