Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Sixty-Two

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the Coronavirus crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored…..

Carouse

This word remains in usage in some areas, although I’m not sure that I’ve heard it used recently. The dictionary defines it as “to drink freely or deep”, making the drinking of alcohol sound quite philosophical. The more current definition of the word is though more ‘drinks loudly’, but perhaps that’s an inevitable result of drinking freely.

The word origin is from German, the phrase ‘gar aus trinken’ means to drink heavily, which got corrupted into English as ‘garaus’, and then ‘carouse’.

And here’s the word usage over the last two centuries. Given how the country has continued to drink freely, it’s a little surprising to see the word be used less frequently.