drink like a fish


Senior Member
What do you say in your mother tongue??
Please, translate the uncommon words.
Thanks a lot.


Iszik, mint a gödény. (...like a pelican)
Iszik, mint a kefekötő. (...like a brush-maker) :D
  • Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    In Dutch we have:
    Drinken (of zuipen) als een Tempelier.

    (zuipen: to drink a lot
    Tempelier: Knight Templar)

    zuipen as 'nen èchel

    (èchel: leech)




    Senior Member
    French: Il boit comme un trou. -> like a hole.

    Less common: comme un gendarme, comme un colonel, comme un général ;).

    Edit: That would actually be saoul comme un général, or saoul comme un Polonais. This is closer to drunk as a lord.
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    Senior Member
    In Esperanto,

    Li drinkas kiel funelo (He drinks like a funnel)

    There are two basic words for "to drink" in Esperanto. Trinki is to drink in general, while drinki is used for consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages. In this expression, Zamenhof (the originator of Esperanto) used the word drinki. Since Zamenhof died in 1917, this expression dates to the early days of the language.


    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland

    Juo kuin sieni = He drinks like a sponge

    This is maybe the most common saying today. In an encyclopedia of figurative language I found more than a dozen, mostly impossible to translate.


    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Austrian German:

    Saufen wie eine Kuh. = Drink like a cow. (Unspecifically.)
    Saufen wie ein Loch. = Drink like a hole. (Especially if you drink much alcohol.)

    ("Saufen" corresponds to Dutch "zuipen" and is as well the stronger word for "to drink", less strong would be "trinken" which however wouldn't be used in this context.)


    Senior Member
    Catalan - Southern Val.
    Beure com un cadirer (like a chair maker)
    Beure com un dolçainer/xirimiter (like a dolçaina player - dolçaina is a traditional musical instrument)
    Beure com un frare (like a monk)


    Senior Member
    French - France
    French: Il boit comme un trou. -> like a hole.

    Less common: comme un gendarme, comme un colonel, comme un général ;).

    Edit: That would actually be saoul comme un général, or saoul comme un Polonais. This is closer to drunk as a lord.
    Or, less offensive and quite funny : Il pompe comme les Shadocks


    Well, I don't want to argue, but this idiom does exist only on paper. It's something what everybody know, but it's really not used in normal life. Maybe it was used years ago but definitely not nowadays.

    The only commonly used idiom is - pije / chlastá jak/jako duha - drinks like rainbow

    You can find some other expressions via Google, but all of them are applicable to other life situations beside drinking, only duha is used exclusively to drinking.

    I don't try to say that you wrote nonsense, only I want to clarify the real situation.


    Senior Member
    Português (Brasil)
    goffredo Italian: Beve come una spugna! = like a sponge!
    Hakro Finnish: Juo kuin sieni = He drinks like a sponge
    merquiades Spain: bebe como un esponja (a sponge)
    apmoy Greek: πίνει σαν σφουγγάρι (pini san sfuŋgari), drinks like a sponge
    sokol Austrian German: Saufen wie eine Kuh. = Drink like a cow. (Unspecifically.)
    Portuguese (Br)

    Bebe como/feito uma esponja. (He drinks like a sponge)
    Bebe feito uma vaca. (He drink like a cow)

    This one is very cool:
    In Czech:
    Pije jako duha. (...as rainbow)


    Senior Member
    Since we love all kind of bathing, in Japanese, we would say it like this: 酒を浴びるほど(くらいに)飲む meaning to drink as if bathing in alcohol.


    Senior Member
    Portuguese- Portugal/Brazil
    In Portuguese:
    More correctly: Bebe como/igual a um gambá (He drinks like an opossum).
    But you may also hear: Bebe igual/que nem um gambá.
    I've already heard some people say "Ele/ela dormiu com Bacco". " He/She slept with Bacco" , the Roman mythology god of wine and madness and...

    Karton Realista

    Senior Member
    Polish - Poland

    Pije kao smuk. (literally: [h]e drinks like an aesculpian snake.)
    Bulgarian: пие като смок. (the same literal meaning)
    Polish: Pije jak smok. Smok - dragon.
    I always believed that it was connected with the legend about szewczyk Dratewka, a guy that gave the dragon living near Cracov a goat filled with sulphur. The dragon became thirsty, so he drank the water from Vistula 'till he burst and died.


    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    I've never heard of it, and when I searched it, only results that came up were all Japanese. So I guess it is not idiomatic in Chinese, but we would sure understand it after further explanation.


    Senior Member
    Thanks for your reply! I found it in dictionary as well as 牛飲(the same as Chinese) so I thought it would be in Chinese too. :)


    Senior Member
    I never heard of 牛饮. Maybe it is a classical saying.
    To my experience, the word 鲸吞 (whale-swallow) is more common.
    However, 鲸吞 is not to describe drinking, but eating.


    Senior Member
    Thanks for your curious reply, SuperXW. Let me ask you one thing about it. I wonder if it still means what you mentioned because my Chinese-Japanese dictionary says the 鲸吞 means to swallow or absorb someone's terrain or property and it doesn't bring up the sense about eating or something.

    Now I recall, by the way, some Japanese four-worded phrase including it: 鯨飲馬食(drinking like a whale, eating like a horse; means to eat bunches of foods and drinks).


    Senior Member
    Indeed, 鲸吞 can be used as a metaphor which means to absorb someone's territory and property. However, the metaphor is still based on the sense of "eating".
    I don't think 鯨飲馬食 exists in Chinese. Glad to know it!


    Senior Member
    Thanks again! I'm always curious about the way every kinds of 漢字(and its phrases or idioms too) is used in the languages that include it.


    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    In Spain we say "bebe como una esponja" ("he drinks like a sponge": referring to alcohol, of course).


    Senior Member
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread -- Ghabi]

    Dutch: Zuipen als een vergiet (literaly: drink like a colander)

    In Spanish it would be something like 'empinar el codo'
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