Printable Version
Pronunciation: kê-ræwz Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: Drink prodigious amounts of alcoholic beverages while partying noisily.

Notes: The noun for this word is carousal, not to be confused with carousel, the wonderful hobby-horse ride on the fairgrounds. Anyone who carouses is a carouser.

In Play: This word usually has pejorative connotations: "Jerry could pass all his courses when he only caroused on the weekends, but when he started carousing during the week, he flunked out." The term is only mildly pejorative, though: "When Bud Light came back from Afghanistan, his friends took him out for a night of carousing to live music."

Word History: Today's Good Word originally referred to a glass of wine or stein of beer drunk completely up as in a toast. It was borrowed from Old French, carous, as in boire carous "to chugalug, drink up in one gulp" (today boire carousse). Old French borrowed carous from Middle High German gar austrinken "to drink up", used in such exhortations as trink's gar aus "drink it all up". Gar "completely" comes from Old High German garo "ready, complete" + aus "out, completely". Nothing more is known of the background of gar except it is akin to Old English yare "ready". We can trace aus back to PIE ud- "out, up". This root became Old English ut "out", as in utmost, Modern English out. Lithuanian and Latvian uz "to" and Russian iz "(out) from" are remnants of the same PIE word. (Let's all now give a deep bow of gratitude to Albert Skiles for finding such a surprising Good Word and sharing it with us.)

Dr. Goodword,

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