a "sorry drunk"

Mihály

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hi,

Could you give me a synonym to "sorry" in the following sentence? (Or rather to "sorry drunk" maybe.)

"[The old man] was a sorry drunk; a single bottle rendered him immobile for the evening, and his words ran together like rainwater dripping down the rope that holds a hanged man aloft."

Thanks!
 
  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    I think sorry means incompetent here --- "he was a drunk, but not very good at drinking". The next sentence tells us that he got drunk very soon after starting.

    I wonder what was the thought behind the simile in the second sentence.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's idiomatic to say that someone or something is in "a sorry state", or is "a sorry sight". In both instances, "sorry" means "pitiful". That's pretty-much what's meant in relation to this drunk. I think.
     
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