Discussion in 'English Only' started by europefranc, May 27, 2006.
who knows the origin of the expression "as drunk as a lord"?
I cannot help you - but you might like to ask on this site, as the people there seem to be very good at this sort of question!
Or, if you go here and scroll down there is reference to it in answer about being drunk as a skunk:
This goes back to Restoration times when many titles were "honors" handed out for political or financial reasons-- no longer earned by swinging a blade or bringing down a large hammer on the heads of Welsh rebels or Saracens, at full gallop.
People who gave and received wounds were drinkers, of course, but too busy for much of the time to treat drinking as an ongoing idle pastime, to get drunk and stay that way. People who inherited sinecures or were created baronets or viscounts had all the time in the world, and nothing more productive to do than taste the fruits of the vine and lose old family fortunes at cards.
In the U.S., in typically ironic form, we say "sober as a judge" instead. Next time you're up before an American judge, check out his nose-- enlarged and rosaceous and splotched with varicose veins, is it not? Case proven and closed.
Reminds me of that old joke about the lad in court saying " Well, at the time I was as drunk as a judge". The judge asks him "Don´t you mean - as drunk as a lord?", and he answers "Yes, my lord":
I always thought that sober as a judge meant just that--sober and serious. But I'm here to learn along with everyone else.
Hi, everyone. I agree with mjscott--the expression "sober as a judge" is meant to indicate sobriey in the sense of seriousness, and is not to be taken as irony.
Sober as a judge is supposed to mean sobriety, but then surely the whole point is that things acquire meaning. And foxfirebrand is right, it is commonplace to see a judge ith a nose that is enlarged and rosaceous and splotched with varicose veins... so what once meant one thing, now means another... perfectly infers the corruption of, well, everything!
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