Whether you’re dying of thirst or just a little parched, we’ve collected together some of the most common and colourful words and phrases that you can add to your English language vocabulary. Here it’s a list of different ways to say ‘to drink’.
1. Quench your thirst
there’s nothing more satisfying than a thirst-quenching drink. In fact, Sprite use this very phrase to advertise their fizzy pop. Quench means to satisfy one’s thirst by drinking. It also means to extinguish the flames of a fire. So this is one to use particularly when you’re feeling hot and thirsty at the same time – I need something to quench my thirst, or That soda really quenched my thirst.
if you down a drink you must be very thirsty indeed. It means to drink hastily, gulping the liquid down. For example: he downed a whole pint of water. If you want to see someone really down a beer, one of the most famous scenes in movie history centres around just that. In Ice Cold in Alex, the actor John Mills plays a soldier who’s been stranded in the desert for months, dreaming of an ice cold beer. When one is finally poured for him, he’s so thirsty he almost downs it in one – according to his co-stars, Mills had to shoot the scene so many times he fell off the barstool!
quite the opposite of down, if you sip a drink you take very small mouthfuls of it and drink it slowly. You might sip a cup of coffee because it’s hot, while sipping a glass of wine is considered far more well-mannered than downing a glass of wine. It’s a very old word dating back to at least the 14th century, related to the Old German sippen meaning to sip, and possibly a corruption of the Old English word sup meaning to eat or drink.
when you down a drink you’re very likely to gulp it down. This is an imitative word, which sounds like the sound we make when we gulp down liquid. We can also gulp down our food. It means to swallow food or drink in big mouthfuls, and often noisily. Another similarly imitative alternative you can use is glug, which means the same thing, but only relates to drinking liquid and not eating food.
here’s another imitative word, this time traced back to 1950s America. It comes from the full phrase Chug-a-lug, which is also the title of a country song by Roger Miller from around that time. It means to drink a beverage – usually a beer – in one go. It’s also a word you might hear being chanted – Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! – in a bar or at a party when people are encouraging others to drink their alcohol down quickly.
to take a swig is similar to taking a sip, only instead of taking a small mouthful you take a big one. Usually when people talk about swigging they mean they’re drinking out of a bottle rather than a cup or mug. You might say “Could I have a swig of your lemonade, I’m thirsty”, when you want just a mouthful of lemonade from a friend. But you can also swig down a whole bottle by taking lots of big mouthfuls one after the other.
Has our list got you thirsty for more? Start learning English today and let us know what are some of your favorite drinking related words.