three sheets to the wind

This formerly read-only archive of threads dates back to 1996, but as of March 2007 is open to new postings. For technical reasons, the early dates shown do not accurately reflect the actual date of posting.

Feel free to add new postings to any of the existing threads in the archived forums, but please create any new language-related threads in one of the Language Discussion Forums.

Re: three sheets to the wind

Post by Phil White » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:26 pm

Bobinwales wrote:Isn't it just an expression?

"Albert is as pissed as a newt". I admit that I do not spend my time face down in bogs looking for amphibians, but I am pretty sure that I have never seen a pissed newt.

“Joe is legless” Well if he is, what are those things between his feet and his arse?
"Legless" is a nice, straightforward image. So drunk you may as well not have legs the amount of times your bum hits the floor.

"Pissed as a newt" has always intrigued me. Maybe Ken can do the dirty on that one as well. Although I do seem to remember crawling through Greenwich Park like this in my university days, so maybe it's an accurate image.

As far as the former is concerned, I still love the article in the Daily Telegraph many years ago:
A new public house at Martlesham, near Ipswich, has been named after Sir Douglas Bader, the RAF's legless wartime hero.
Post actions:
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: three sheets to the wind

Post by trolley » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:29 pm

I always hear that expression as "pissed as a nit". I wonder if that is some sort of eggcorn or are nits notoriously hard drinking creatures, like fish or parrots or skunks? I found a couple of articles suggesting that the "newt" in question actually referred to that sad-faced guy who led the funeral processions in Victorian times. Nowhere, can I see any confirmation that they were called newts. They seem to have been called "mutes" and there is no mention of their drinking habits.

trolley getting sheet-faced
Post actions:

Re: three sheets to the wind

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:32 pm

It's little wonder the old nautical types had so many sheets in the wind, what with splicing their mainbraces and indulging in all those sea-shandies.
Post actions:

Re: three sheets to the wind

Post by Phil White » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:51 pm

Sorry guys, we lost this thread for a while. All back again.
Post actions:
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

End of topic.
Post Reply