Printable Version
Pronunciation: bib-yê-lês Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Bibacious, heavy-drinking, excessively fond of consuming alcoholic beverages.

Notes: This is a good word with which to swap out bibacious in your conversations with heavy-drinking friends who are Good Word subscribers. The quality noun for this adjective is bibulosity, though bibulation is available to those who use bibulate in the sense of "tipple".

In Play: The meaning of today's word is halfway between that of tippling and drunken: "Harvey Wallbanger is far less bibulous when he visits his parents than when he is in his favorite watering hole." Its sense is neutral as compared to that of drunken: "He also throws bibulous shindigs in his digs on the weekends."

Word History: This Good Word is a very slight makeover of Latin bibulus, when referring to people "drinking readily, given to drink", when referring to things, "very absorbent". This word is based on bibere "to drink", inherited from PIE p(o)i- "to drink", source also of Russian pit' "drink", poju "I drink" and similar verbs in all Slavic languages. Latin bibere went into the making of imbibere "to drink in", borrowed as imbibe. Bib is the remains of Middle English bibben "to drink heartily". Bibs were apparently originally intended to catch alcoholic slobber. Latin had another word for drinking, potare "to drink (up), absorb". Potus "drunk(en)", the past participle of this verb went into the making of potio(n) "a drink", which English borrowed after Latin's daughter, French, had at it, as potion.

Dr. Goodword,

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