Phrases Used When Drinking

Drinking with Friends
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There are a number of phrases used when drinking at a bar or pub, or in a private home. Here are some of the most common to start off the evening:

Here's to your health.
Bottoms up (informal, used with shots)

Person 1: Cheers!
Person 2: Bottoms up!

Person 1: Here's to your health.
Person 2: And to yours!

Toasting Someone or Something

It's also common to use the phrase 'Here's to ...' or 'A toast to ...' and include the name of the person or thing you are toasting.

In more formal occasions, we also use the phrase 'I'd like to make a toast to ...' and include the name of the person or thing you are toasting, as well as include a wish beginning with 'May he/she/it...'.

Person 1: Here's to our new contract!
Person 2: Here, here!

Person 1: A toast to Mary!
Person 2: Cheers!

Person 1: I'd like to make a toast to Jim. May he live long and prosper!
Person 2: May he live long and prosper!

Idiomatic Phrases 

There are a number of idiomatic phrases that are used when drinking (of course!). A number of these expressions are slang, others are more common.

be on the wagon = to not be drinking, trying not to drink alcohol 
be pissed as a newt = to be very drunk
paint the town red = to go to different bars, drink and have a good time in a city
wet your whistle = to have a drink
be three sheets to the wind = to be very drunk
be under the influence = to feel the alcohol, usually meaning to be drunk

Let's paint the town red tonight.
I'm afraid I'm on the wagon this week. I need to lose some weight.
I'd like to wet my whistle. Is there a bar anywhere near here?

Adjectives for Drunk

plastered / hammered / wasted / pissed / inebriated = adjectives meaning that someone is very drunk

tipsy = to feel alcohol but not be very drunk

Jim was plastered at the party last night.
Don't come home pissed!
Wow, man, you're hammered!
I'm feeling a little tipsy tonight.


to quaff = to drink
to gulp = to drink very quickly often used with beer
to drink like a fish = to drink a lot of alcohol
to sip = to take very small drinks of something, often used with wine or cocktails 

He quaffed his drink while chatting with his mates.
I gulped down a beer after I finished mowing the lawn.
Jim drinks like a fish.


DUI = Driving Under the Influence, used as a criminal charge 
BYOB = Bring Your Own Bottle, used when telling someone to bring alcohol to a party 

Peter was arrested on a DUI.
The party is BYOB, so bring anything you want to drink.

Taking the First Drink

Prost / Salut = sometimes people use foreign expressions with same meaning

Idiomatic Phrases to Say "Cheers" 

Here's mud in your eye.
Here's to your health.
Down the hatch.
Bottom's up

Names Used With Alcohol

glass of Red / White / Rose = used with wine 
cocktail = mixed drink 
liquor = strong alcohol
pint = used with beer
shot = used with straight alcohol, not mixed
booze/hair of the dog / the sauce = idiomatic names for hard liquor

Cocktails are often made with strong liquor and fruit juice.
I'll have a shot of whiskey and a pint of beer.