Getting drunk in Japanese: vocab list

By | October 13, 2015

This time I’m going to give a vocabulary list which you aren’t likely to see in any textbook – words related to drinking alcohol.

Whether you are into drinking personally or not, it’s hard to deny it’s a major part of modern Japanese culture, so it’s probably a good idea to know these.

  • お酒 (osake) – Alcohol  [The ‘o’ is optional]
  • アルコール (arukooru) – Alcohol (less common usage than “osake”)
  • 水割り (mizuwari) – to mix alcohol with water
  • 日本酒 (nihonshu) – Japanese alcohol (wine) made from rice (what we usually call “sake” in the states)
  • ~酒 (~shu) – ending for many words that have to do with alcohol (i.e. 梅酒, umeshu – alcohol made from plums)
  • ワイン (wain) – wine
  • 飲む(nomu) – to drink (verb)
  • 飲み過ぎ (nomisugi) – drinking too much (this is noun form,  verb form is 飲みすぎる)
  • 飲み放題 (nomihoudai) – all you can drink (like at a restaurant)
  • 飲み干す (homihosu) – “to drink dry”, to drink something completely
  • 飲み直す (nominaosu) – to drink again (may be a different place then you are at currently)
  • 酔う(you) – to get drunk, intoxicated  (can be also used for things besides alcohol, like motion sickness)
  • 酔わせる (yowaseru) – to get someone drunk
  • 酔っ払う (yopparau) – to get drunk, intoxicated
  • 酔っ払い (yopparai) – a drunk person
  • のんべえ (nonbee) – a drunk person
  • 泥酔する (deisui suru) – to get totally drunk
  • べろべろ (berobero) – licking sound, can be used before the above verbs (酔っ払う, etc.) to emphasize being drunk
  • 素面 (shirafu) – sober
  • 酔いが覚める (yoi ga sameru) – to sober up
  • 気持ちいい (kimochi ii) – feeling good, can refer to feeling of being drunk
  • 気持ち悪い (kimochi warui) – feeling bad, can refer to feeling sick from over-drinking
  • 吐き気がする (hakike ga suru) – nauseous
  • ゲロを吐く(gero wo haku) – puke, throw up
  • ほろ酔い (horo yoi) – slightly buzzed, intoxicated
  • 飲み会 (nomikai) – drinking party
  • 注ぐ (tsugu) – to pour
  • 杯(sakazuki) – classic-style sake cup, short and wide
  • 乾杯 (kanpai) – a toast before a meal, “cheers”
  • ジョッキ (jokki) – beer mug
  • コップ(koppu) – glass (for alcohol, water, or anything else)
  • 酒場 (sakaba) – bar
  • 酒屋 (sakaya) – store that sells alcohol
  • お酒に強い「弱い」 (osake ni tsuyoi [yowai]) having a high [low] tolerance for alcohol
  • ~杯 (~hai) counter for drinks (1杯 [ippai]、2杯 [nihai],  etc.)
  • お酒が苦手 (osake ga nigate) – express to mean alcohol doesn’t go well with that person, and may mean they don’t drink
  • お酒が飲めない (osake ga nomenai) – (I) can’t drink alcohol
  • こぼす (kobosu) – to spill [not necessarily related to alcohol]
  • 二日酔い (futsukayoi) – hangover
  • 飲酒運転 (inshu unten) – drunk driving
  • がぶ飲み (gabunomi) – chug, drink alcohol quickly
  • すする (susuru) – to slurp
  • 記憶喪失 (kioku soushitsu) – memory loss, can be from over drinking or something else


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