Old Soak

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Old Soak

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:40 pm

Would someone like to have a stab at the origin of "old soak" meaning drunkard?

I heard a ludicrous explanation recently and it set my mind working, but I can find nothing.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Old Soak

Post by tony h » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:49 am

I assumed the meaning was from a soak or soak-away being a drain. E.G. the guttering around a house ducts the caught rain water into a cavity in the ground constructed to aid the absorption of the water into the ground. If these are old and not maintained the water does not disperse but just remains and smells and can have new water spilling over the top. It is a long, smelly and unpleasant task to get it back to working order.

(Unfortunately some experience with this ... )

It doesn't seem much of a jump to describe the person who sits in the corner drinking to excess as being like the old soak.
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: Old Soak

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:40 am

Bob you may care to research the connection between souse and soak. In cooking when you souse something you soak it as in brining. Another meaning for souse is drunkard. Could there be a transfer of meaning there?

WoZ who has been soused
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

End of topic.
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