Tight = drunk

Lynne Murphy m.l.murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK
Wed May 2 11:11:58 UTC 2007

--On 01 May 2007 10:22 -0400 Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU> wrote:

> I grew up in the part of NY State that some people call upstate and
> others don't. For me, in the 60s and 70s, "tight" meant "tipsy" (but not
> outright inebriated).

I come from the part of upstate New York that doesn't call the part that
Alice (I think) comes from 'upstate'  :) , and understood 'tight' to mean
fairly blotto--it's the kind of drunkness that I'd associate with business
men with martinis trying to hold themselves together a bit.  But that was
just my impression--I think I understood it as kind of metaphoric.

I wouldn't use it these days because of the association with a certain part
of the female anatomy.

I discussed 'tight' in BrE versus AmE a little here:



Dr M Lynne Murphy
Senior Lecturer and Head of Department
Linguistics and English Language
Arts B135
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN

phone: +44-(0)1273-678844

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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