Wednesday 24 October 2007

Phrase of the Day 157: 'drink like a fish'

"to drink like a fish"

definition: to drink heavily, especially of alcoholic drink.

origin: clearly an allusion to fishes' close association with water and their open-mouthed taking in of water to obtain oxygen. The phrase is known since 1640 and appears in Fletcher and Shirley's The night-walker, or the little theife, from that date:
"Give me the bottle, I can drink like a Fish now, like an Elephant."

'Drink like an elephant' didn't catch on.

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