• booze •
Part of Speech: Noun, Verb
Meaning: (Slang) Liquor or other alcoholic drink.
Notes: Today's rather sober word has not staggered far from its original form and meaning. It works well as a verb without any suffix, as in "to booze too much" (which we hope none of our readers did last night). The adjective is boozy, which means "drunkenly", while boozily is the adverb. The action noun is simply the regular gerund, boozing. Around World War II, a drinking binge was called a boozeroo in New Zealand.
In Play: A good deal of beverage is consumed on New Year's Eve by some, though not by all: "The Whipplesnatches are not the sort who like to booze it up on New Year's Eve." The enjoyment of excellent wines and liquors is often associated with ships these days: "Jose and Margarita Cuervo like to take a booze cruise around the Caribbean over the Christmas holidays." Remember that this word is strictly slang.
Word History: Today's Good Word seems to have turned up in all Germanic languages but any more distant origin remains obscure. Old High German bausen "bulge, billow" (bauschen today) and Dutch buizen "to drink excessively" seem to be cousins, with the English meaning following the tip from Dutch. The semantic crossover may have been via the bulgy Old Dutch buise "drinking vessel". In the past this word has been spelled bouse and, more recently, boose but the spelling we provide above is the current one. (We are happy that Colin Burt constrained any boozing he might have had in mind until after he suggested this Good New Year's Word to us.)
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