I wish you a very happy new year 2022. I hope your New Year's Eve went well and that you are not too hungover.
And yes, New Year's Eve is often a very drunken party.
It's funny, but the French lexicon of alcohol is one of the richest.
Well, maybe it's because the French are the biggest wine consumers in the world.
Today we will see the vocabulary of alcohol in French in the colloquial language register and in the more common, even formal language register.
Language registers in French:
Before we start, a few words about language registers in French.
Language registers allow us to categorize mainly vocabulary, but sometimes also grammatical aspects, turns of phrase, idiomatic expressions.
According to the context in which we are, the situation in which we are, we will use different vocabulary or different turns of phrase.
For example, at work, I will use everyday language, even formal language. If I arrive late I will not say : “Chui déso d'être à la bourre, j'ai raté mon train.” (I'm sorry I'm late, I missed my train). It's very familiar.
I will say instead: “Veuillez m'excuser pour mon retard, j'ai manqué mon train.” (I apologize for being late, I missed my train.)
The meaning is the same, but the language register is different.
This is something that exists in other languages as well. But, it's true, well I have the impression that in French, it's more obvious, visible and especially more important.
Officially, there are three language registers in French :
The colloquial language that we use with our friends and family. In the colloquial language, I put the vulgar language which is very negative and the slang which is a specific language linked to a region or a social category.
Common language is neutral and can be used with everyone without any problem. Between the common and the sustained language, I put the formal language. Formal language is a language register used in formal situations such as in a professional meeting, in the media or in an administrative context, for example.
And we have the sustained language which is used very little, if at all. It is a language register that is most often found in literature.
If you want to know more about this, I recommend you my article on how to know and differentiate the language registers in French.
Alcohol vocabulary in French:
We will now look at the vocabulary of alcohol in different language registers in French.
Words in French for alcohol :
So, we will see already different words to designate alcohol:
The most common word used is obviously : l’alcool.
In colloquial language, we can say:
Words for drinking in French :
We then have a large vocabulary to designate the fact to be drunk in French :
In colloquial language, we can say:
We also have some idiomatic expressions that always mean that we are drunk:
In common language, we say:
In more formal language, we would say:
And if you start to have the effects of alcohol, but you're not completely drunk, you can say:
There are also expressions that mean that a person is going to drink a lot to the point of getting sick. Familiarly, we would say:
And on the contrary, someone who is not alcoholic, we will say:
Words in French for a person addicted to alcohol:
Let's look at the vocabulary used to describe someone who is addicted to or enjoys alcohol:
In colloquial language, we would say:
We have other colloquial expressions like :
In everyday language, we say:
Words in French for the effects of alcohol:
And you get the effects of alcohol, often the next day:
Generally, when you are sick from alcohol, we say colloquially:
I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷