A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 06, 2012
“Drunk as a skunk”

"Drunk as a skunk” means to be highly inebriated. Skunks aren’t particularly known for drinking; the saying exists because of the rhyme. “Drunk as a skunk” has been cited in print since at least 1940.


Wiktionary: drunk as a skunk
Etymology
Although skunk might refer to the aroma of alcohol etc, the rhyme seems to have motivated this idiom.
Adjective
drunk as a skunk

1. (simile, colloquial) Highly inebriated.
Usage notes
This term follows the common pattern of omitting the first “as” of the full form “as drunk as a skunk”.

24 November 1940, San Diego (CA) Union, “Out of My Mind” by Katharine Brush, pg. C3, col. 6:
‘Drunk as a skunk but we got him registered in time.”

15 December 1942, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Cohn-ing Tower” by Art Cohn, pg. 28, col. 1:
Except for rare few teetotalers—the late Howard-Jones, Double-A Stagg, Babe Hollingbcry and one other probi whose name escapes me—everyone got drunk as a skunk.

19 May 1947, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Behind the Mike” with William Moyes, pg. 13, col. 2:
A couple of hours later, he was drunk as a skunk, but at last reports still had the candy.

Google Books
Peyton Place
By Grace MetalĂ­ous
New York, NY: Messner
1956
Pg. 300:
“He’s in the woodshed, drunk as a skunk,” said Ginny to those who came to inquire for him.

Google News Archive
6 August 1958, Daytona Beach (FL) Morning Journal, ‘Dear Abby” by Abigail Van Buren, pg. 4, cols. 4-5:
DEAR ABBY: My husband got drunk as a skunk and came home at four in the morning with lipstick smeared all over his face.

Google Books
29 October 1966, Billboard magazine, pg. 105 ad:
But the real fun comes in watching an all-thumbs customer who has one small drink get rated “Drunk as a Skunk,” while a skillful (or lucky) heavy drinker rates “Sober as a Judge.”
(The Northwestern Corporation—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Drink like a [fish], drunk as a [skunk], sink like a [rock], dead as a [duck]; safe [boat] ing, no [alcohol] : your safety, our concern.
Author: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.?] : US Army Corps of Engineers, [1989?]
Edition/Format: Image : Picture : National government publication : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Drunk as a skunk
Author: A Coghlan
Publisher: [London : New Science Publications,
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: New scientist. no. 2113/2114, (1997): 46
Database: ArticleFirst

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (1) Comments • Saturday, October 06, 2012 • Permalink


Well, they do rhyme. That’s just the point. words are created not only with there meaning but also with how it sounds.

Posted by moving boxes gold coast  on  10/10  at  10:53 AM

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