Quotations about   drinking

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There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth —
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“A Drink with Something In It,” The Primrose Path (1935)
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Added on 17-Nov-17 | Last updated 17-Nov-17
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Well, with one martini ah feel bigger, wiser, taller, and with two it goes to the superlative, and ah feel biggest, wisest, tallest, and with three there ain’t no holdin’ me.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
(Attributed)
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As quoted in Lauren Bacall, By Myself (1978). Often paraphrased or rendered back into standard English, e.g., "When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller. When I have a second, I feel superlative. When I have more, there's no holding me."
Added on 3-Nov-17 | Last updated 3-Nov-17
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The Martini is to middle- and upper-class American society what peyote is to the Yaqui Indians: a sacred rite that affirms tribal identity, encourages fanciful thought and —
let’s be honest here — delivers a whoppingly nice high.

Barnaby Conrad III (b. 1952) American author, artist, editor
“Martini Madness,” Cigar Aficionado (Spring 1996)
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Added on 16-Oct-17 | Last updated 16-Oct-17
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There are two reasons for drinking: one is, when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to prevent it. The first is obvious, mechanical, and plebeian; the second is most refined, abstract, prospicient, and canonical. I drink by anticipation of thirst that may be. Prevention is better than cure.

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) English novelist, satirist, poet, merchant
Melincourt, ch. 16 (1817)
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Added on 6-Sep-17 | Last updated 6-Sep-17
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Alcohol: A liquid good for preserving almost everything except secrets.

Other Authors and Sources
Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary (1905)
Added on 23-Aug-17 | Last updated 23-Aug-17
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Almost anything can be preserved in alcohol, except health, happiness, and money.

Mary Wilson Little (1880?-?) American writer
A Paragrapher’s Reveries (1904)
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Added on 5-Jul-17 | Last updated 5-Jul-17
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You’re trying to drown your sorrows in alcohol and it won’t work. Sorrows know how to swim.

Ann Landers (1918-2002) American advice columnist [pseud. for Eppie Lederer]
“Ask Ann Landers,” syndicated column (1958)

Landers used the phrase multiple times, e.g.,
  • "And now an added P.S. In these days of political unrest, financial crisis and emotional upheaval, a word to those of you who are trying to drown your sorrow. Please be aware that sorrow knows how to swim." [The Ann Landers Encyclopedia: A to Z (1978)]
  • "People who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to swim."
However, the phrase predates her in a variety of anonymous sources; see here for more discussion.
Added on 21-Jun-17 | Last updated 7-Jan-19
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I took a sip. It went surprisingly well with the veal. On the other hand, the fourth margarita goes surprisingly well with everything.

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Taming A Sea-Horse (1986)
Added on 6-Apr-17 | Last updated 6-Apr-17
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Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head.

Irving King (fl. 1920s) British songwriter [pseud. of Jimmy Campbell (1903-1967) and Reg Connelly (c. 1895-1963)]
“Show Me the Way to Go Home” (1925)
Added on 17-Jan-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-17
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R-E-M-O-R-S-E!
Those dry Martinis did the work for me;
Last night at twelve I felt immense,
Today I feel like thirty cents.,
My eyes are bleared, my coppers hot,
I’ll try to eat, but I cannot.
It is no time for mirth and laughter,
The cold, gray down of the morning after.

George Ade (1866-1944) American writer, newspaper columnist, playwright
The Sultan of Sulu, Act 2 (1903)
Added on 12-Oct-16 | Last updated 12-Oct-16
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Of all the men embezzling from their employers with whom I have had contact, I can’t remember a dozen who smoked, drank or had any of the vices in which bonding companies are so interested.

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) American author, screenwriter, political activist
Interview with Helen Herbert Foster, “House Burglary Poor Trade,” Brooklyn Eagle Magazine (Oct 1929)
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Added on 26-Sep-16 | Last updated 26-Sep-16
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Besides, there are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink.

Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) American novelist and dramatist
Penrod, ch. 10 (1914)
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Added on 25-Jan-16 | Last updated 25-Jan-16
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New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“New Year’s Day,” Virginia City Territorial Enterprise (Jan 1864)
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Added on 31-Dec-15 | Last updated 31-Dec-15
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SYDNEY: Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.

Jean Kerr (1922-2003) American author and playwright [b. Bridget Jean Collins]
Poor Richard, Act 1 (1965)
Added on 5-Oct-15 | Last updated 5-Oct-15
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Liquor doesn’t make you feel better. Just makes you not so worried about feeling bad.

James S. A. Corey (contemp.) American writer [pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck]
Leviathan Wakes (2011)
Added on 9-Sep-15 | Last updated 9-Sep-15
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It is disgusting to notice the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects. … If possible, this must be prevented. My people must drink beer.

Frederick II (1712-1786) King of Prussia (a.k.a. Frederick the Great)
Proclamation (13 Sep 1777)
Added on 30-Oct-14 | Last updated 29-May-17
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Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (28 Apr 1778)

In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
Added on 18-Apr-14 | Last updated 18-Apr-14
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It seems there is something spiritual in wine.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 7-Oct-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Wine has drowned more than the sea.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings]

Alt. trans.: "Wine drowns more than the sea."
Added on 14-Jun-13 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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Alcohol is nicissary f’r a man so that now an’ thin he can have a good opinion iv himsilf, ondisturbed be th’ facts.

[Alcohol is necessary for a man so that now and then he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed by the facts.]

Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936) American humorist and journalist
“Mr. Dooley on Alcohol,” Chicago Tribune (26 Apr 1914)
Added on 10-May-13 | Last updated 19-Feb-16
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Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: “Do not drink,” answer him: “I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.” One must always do what Satan forbids.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Letter to Jerome Weller (Jul 1530)
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Alt. trans.: "We are soon defeated if we try too hard not to sin. So when the devil says ‘Do not drink’ answer him: ‘I shall drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to!’"
Added on 17-Jul-09 | Last updated 9-Feb-16
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Alcohol is like love: the first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you just take the girl’s clothes off.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) American novelist
The Long Good-bye, ch. 12 (1954)
Added on 16-May-08 | Last updated 5-Nov-15
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“You’d better be prepared for the jump into hyperspace. It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.”

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”

“You ask a glass of water.”

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ch. 6 (1979)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 22-Aug-16
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