“Trousered” has become the latest latest synonym for “drunk” to be added to the dictionary, thanks to the verbal invention of Billy Connolly
The Oxford English Dictionary has added the adjective to its official website, with the definition given as “slang (chiefly British and Irish English). Drunk, intoxicated”.
Scottish comedian Connolly is credited with introducing the term for intoxication to the wider public, and the dictionary entry cites a quote of his from a 1977 newspaper interview in which he states that he can “get totally trousered along with the best of them”.
Jonathan Dent, the OED’s revision editor, has written that the latest dictionary update includes “colourful expressions for being or becoming (very) drunk”, including: “Trousered, apparently popularised by Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly, and a feature of mainly British and Irish English since the 1970s.”
Kate Wild, the dictionary’s executive editor, said the new addition had joined an extensive selection of English synonyms for becoming “trousered”.
She said: “The newly added sense trousered meaning ‘drunk’ expands what is already one of the largest categories, drunk, which contains over 200 words: from Old English for drunken through to late 20th century coinages such as wazzed, mullered, t****** , b*********, and – now – trousered.
“And that’s just the main category drunk: if 200 or so synonyms aren’t enough for your needs, there are many more specific terms in subcategories such as partially drunk, riotously drunk, and completely or very drunk.”
In Connolly’s 1977 interview in which he used the term “trousered”, he made clear that he never drank before going on stage.
Other citations for the use of the term “trousered” include its deployment by Neil Griffiths in his 2001 novel Grits to describe a drunk character.