There’s no real way to quantify just how drunk an “etched” person is, but somewhere between tipsy and obliterated, lies etched. You may also be “three sheets to the wind”, toasted, blasted, shit-faced, or, if you prefer clinical terms to describe your current state, you are “inebriated.” Each of these terms demarcates a discreet place on a near-infinite measure of how drunk a person can get, and how likely they are to need IVs in the Keys the next day. But that begs the question, how drunk are you when you’re etched?
Three Sheets to the Wind
Nowadays, you can be three sheets to the wind anywhere you please. But back in the old days, you could only get that way on a ship. On a ship, the “sheets” are ropes that hold the corners of the sails taught. If you imagined three pieces of paper blowing aimlessly in the wind, you’re not alone. But if a sheet becomes loose, the ship will wobble and teeter, much like a drunk. If two of those sheets are loose, the tottering becomes worse. If three of sheets are loose, then all hope is lost. There’s no telling what the ship might do. Hence the term, three sheets to the wind.
The term “annihilated” is based on the Latin, nihil, which, of course, means nothing. Nihilists are so named because they ostensibly believe in nothing. In Latin, the preposition an + nihil meant to reduce to nothing. It also means, to reduce to ruin, to nullify, and to vanquish. If you’re annihilated, you are so drunk that you have been literally nullified.
Obliterated is very similar in meaning to annihilated and like annihilated, it’s also Latin. The Latin word obliteratus is the past participle of the verb obliterare. Obliterare means to “cause to disappear,” “to blot out”, or “to erase”. If you have a knack for languages, you might have noticed the word “literate” hiding inside the word “obliterate”. That’s because the original term meant to erase a letter. The fragment ob is a preposition meaning against. If you are so drunk that you are obliterated, then you’ve been erased like a word from a page.
In some cases, the language of war may be used to describe your condition. Maybe you’re blitzed. Perhaps you’re bombed. Some folks get mangled.
A relatively common word for drunk is “plastered” but no one knows quite where it came from. One theory holds that the men contracted to finish off walls (plasterers) had a reputation for getting plastered. Hence, the term was named after them.
Much like plastered, the origin of etched is unknown. The term comes from engraving, meaning to cut into something. Headstones are etched, for instance. Perhaps etchers are also drunks. Nobody knows.
Talk to the Hangover Paramedics are the Hangover Hospital
If you got etched or a little blitzed the night before, you’ll probably have a blistering hangover in the morning. Luckily, there’s a treatment for that. The Hangover Hospital has the hangover cure in Key West! If you’re feeling hungover, give us a call and we can help you feel better as soon as possible.