Z is for Zozzled (AtoZ Challenge – Roaring Twenties)

ROARING TWENTIES - Zozzled - It's probably no surprise that the 1920s produced so many slang words to say 'drunk'

ZYou can’t be too much surprised by the many expression that meant ‘drunk’ in the Twenties.

You could be bleary-eyed, bent, blind, blotto, boiled, boiled as an owl, burning with a blue flame, canned, corked, corned, crocked, edged, embalmed, fried, fried to the hat, four sheets in the wind, full, ginned, half-cocked, half seas over, half-screwed, half-shot, happy, high, hoary-eyed, jazzed, jingle, lathered, liquored, lit, lit up like a Christmas tree, lit up like a store window, lit up like the commonwealth, loaded, loaded for beer, loaded to the muzzle, lubricated, oiled, over the bay, ossified, owled, paralyzed, plastered, pie-eyed, pickled, piffed, piped, plastered,polluted, potted, primed, saturated, slopped, sloppy, stiff, stinko, soused, squiffy, stewed, spifflicated, sprung, tanked, tight, lit, under the table, wall-eyed, wet, woozy.

And my favourite: zozzled

drunkTo be zozzled means to be drunk and is probably an alteration of the older sozzled, which is from about 1886. Sozzled comes from sozzle, to spill or splash, often in a messy manner. Related may be soss referring to a dirty puddle, falling lazily into a seat, or a lazy person. Soss may be imitative in origin. To sossle means to “go about in an aimless idle manner,” according to the OED. Zozzled seems to have first appeared in writer Edmund Wilson‘s 1927 Lexicon of Prohibition, “a catalogue looking back to [Ben] Franklin’s The Drinker’s Dictionary.

– Our 13 favourite words from Boardwalk Empire

And believe me, after a month of posting everyday, I feel all of the above!



Flapperspeak: Dictionaly of words from the 1920’s and 1930’s (pdf)


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About the Author

I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.

34 Comments on "Z is for Zozzled (AtoZ Challenge – Roaring Twenties)"

  1. I’m officially bringing Zozzled back in to the mainstream starting tomorrow! What a perfect word!

    –Mee (The Chinese Quest)
    Mee Magnum recently posted…“Y” is for Yao #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  2. Wow, I guess drinking was a way of life based on all the common, every day terminology used for being drunk – so glad I found your blog – better late than never – I’ll be reading your other posts soon – Loved watching Boardwalk – nice to learn more about the roaring 20’s! @Door2LoreSue
    PowerofStoryBlog – Every Hero Has a Story

    • Hi Sue! So happy you’ve found me.
      I guess there will be time to discover a lot of other blogs now the challenge is over. I didn’t have time to explore as much and I wanted to, because this challenge was so though. But now, off I go!!! 🙂

  3. Should I be proud or concerned that I basically knew all of those? I knew sozzled, but not zozzled, so there’s that at least 😉

    Congrats for making it all the way!! you’ve done such a great job with this!
    Celine Jeanjean recently posted…U is for… UnauthorizedMy Profile

    • Thanks Celine. It’s been tough at times, but also great fun.
      And I’ll be waiting for you to complete the challenge. I’m watching you! 😉

  4. Thank you for a great month – I think you deserve to be zozzled 🙂 It’s a new word for me – sozzled I knew, but not zozzled. What a great list of words that mean drunk 😀
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)
    Tasha recently posted…AtoZChallenge2015 – Z is for ZuulMy Profile

  5. We made it! Thanks for a fascinating tour through the Roaring Twenties. I think most languages / dialects have fantastic words for drunk. My favourite Glaswegian one is steamin’. “He was pure steamin’ by the way!”
    Anabel Marsh recently posted…Gallus Glasgow Z: World War ZMy Profile

    • Ah, it was a great month!!!

      My favourite word for ‘drunk’ is ‘bolso’, but this is my dialect. I wouldn’t be able to translate it into Italian (other than as ‘drunk’ of course), let alone English 🙂

  6. Those are some creative euphemisms for being drunk! I also love the word schnockered.

    Congratulations on finishing the Challenge! I really enjoyed your posts.
    Carrie-Anne recently posted…Malka (Mala) ZimetbaumMy Profile

    • Thanks Carrie, I enjoyed your blog a lot too 🙂

      I liked ‘out on the roof’, that I found on a list of Twenties slang, but since I didn’t find it anywhere else, I didn’t include it here.

  7. I like ‘fried to the hat’ 😀

    Fantastic last post – congratulations on completing the A-Z! I’ve really enjoyed your posts this month and I look forward to reading more in the future (and to watching Boardwalk Empire!).

    Fee | Wee White Hoose
    Scottish Mythology and Folklore A-Z
    Fee recently posted…Z-Rods, Combs, and Double Discs: Pictish StonesMy Profile

  8. Reminds me of the modern “sloshed.” I’m in for bringing zozzled back!
    Sabina recently posted…ZenithMy Profile

  9. Congratulations on completing A to Z. You’ve posted some great posts!

    TD Harvey
    A to Z participant
    TD Harvey recently posted…Z ZoonosisMy Profile

  10. Incidentally, I am planning on doing a post on MopDog soon about expressions for drunkenness in Hungarian 🙂 Fun!
    Congrats on completing the challenge! I really enjoyed your posts, it was a great theme well written. I had fun 🙂

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary
    Tarkabarka recently posted…Z is for Zong Belegt Baatar (Epics from A to Z)My Profile

  11. I, too, think we should bring “zozzled” back. Could I blog, tomorrow, that I am zozzled with spring? Maybe I should try. I really am zozzled with spring. And I enjoyed your theme so much. Congrats on finishing the A to Z!
    Alana recently posted…Zone of TwilightMy Profile

  12. This post made me chuckled 🙂 One of my favorites is pie-eyed. Congrats on finishing the a-z. Thank you for educating us on the Roaring Twenties!!
    Sharon Marie Himsl recently posted…Z is for Zuchinni Bread: Inventions by Women A-ZMy Profile

  13. That’s quite an impressive list!! 😀 Love it. Congrats on getting to the end of the challenge. I’m very glad to have connected over it. Looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

    I’m feeling pretty zozzled myself, today… catching up on the last three days I missed, yikes!
    Alex Hurst recently posted…Z is for 材料My Profile

    • Same here. I’ll sure visit you in the future, because, hey! I need to know how you’ll fair in Canada 😉

      I’m trying to catch up too. There are still lot of people (and this includes you, I believe) that I still need to visit and finish reading. I’ll get to everyone, promised.

  14. What a great “expression” and thant you for the hard job you have put in your posts. Even though I am not always commenting, I am reading them. 🙂

    Best from Norway.
    Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen recently posted…Er du kun lykkelig om du kan fortelle om det? #128My Profile

  15. Just to let you know, I gave your blog and your theme a shout out in my A to Z Reflections post. 🙂
    Barbara In Caneyhead recently posted…Musical Memories – Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2015My Profile

    • Oh, thanks, Barbara. I’m preparing my Reflections post, I’m hoping to post it tomorrow, and I’m planning a shour out section too 😉

  16. You’ve done such a fantastic job with these posts! Hope you’ve recovered somewhat from that zozzled feeling. 🙂 Congrats for making it to the end!
    Sue Archer recently posted…Reflections on the A to Z Blogging ChallengeMy Profile

  17. Hey Sarah! I am just blitzing through for the A-to-Z Road Trip. I really enjoyed reading your posts for the challenge. They were quite informational! I love the Roarin’ Twenties and you taught me a lot of things I didn’t know about that era!

    I did the challenge over at Promptly Written. This blog, The Rattling Bones, is my new one. I signed up for your email list and look forward to your posts.

    See you next April! ~Lori~

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