Let's Bring Back 'Crapulous' and Give Your Boozy Night a New Name

Updated March 31, 2022
Two women dancing and drinking alcohol at the party
    Two women dancing and drinking alcohol at the party
    pitchwayz / E+ / Getty Images
    Used under Getty Images license

There are many ways to describe that guy who gets to the bottom of his beer a little more quickly than everyone else. But rather than labeling him a drunk or a lush, you can use a more refined and specific word for his intemperate behavior: crapulous.

Crapulous: Latin For ‘One Too Many’

All right, so crapulous doesn’t exactly scream “refined,” but it’s a great word regardless. It comes from the Latin crapulosus, meaning “excessive intoxication” and describes a person who goes too far with the alcohol from time to time (or more). Crapulous can also describe the aftermath of heavy drinking, as the Greek kraipalē means “hangover.” Basically, crapulous can describe your entire night of debauchery, up to — and including — your night on the bathroom floor.

How To Use Crapulous in the 21st Century

Unless you’re writing a novel set a few centuries ago, crapulous may feel a bit antiquated for everyday conversation. But don’t let its age deter you from bringing it back to this millennium. There are lots of ways you can use crapulous in this day and age, including:

  • texting (“Omg u got so crapulous at the party last night”)

  • social media comments (“Sherie looks crapulous in all these pics!”)

  • asking someone out (“Feel like getting a little crapulous at the bar?”)

  • apologizing (“I’m sorry I said that. I was just a little crapulous.”)

Crapulous Isn’t Actually Crappy

You wouldn’t be the first person to notice that crapulous sounds like, well, crap. But the words don’t have the same origin or meaning. Crap, meaning “defecation,” comes from the Middle English crappe, French crappa (“residue or dregs”) and Dutch krappen (“to pluck or cut off”). Its potty-talk and light-curse-word meanings became popular centuries later, long after crapulous partygoers were wobbling their way home.


Crapulous Vs. Crapulent

If you’re wondering whether it should be crapulent instead of crapulous, you’ve got a point (and an admirable vocabulary). Both adjectives relate to the noun crapulence, which is the state of drunkenness and can be used interchangeably to mock and probably confuse the crapulous among us.

More Classy Ways to Describe Crapulence

If crapulous isn’t your style, try out these Old English and Middle English archaic words that still hold up:

  • bacchanalian - a person who drinks and parties wildly

  • carouser - a drunken partier

  • jingled - only a little drunk

  • pixelated - drinking enough to be happy and fun (tipsy)

  • stumblebum - a clumsy, drunk person

  • tippler - someone who drinks excessively, a few sips at a time

  • tipsificator - one who is perpetually tipsy

  • winebibber - a person who drinks wine steadily

  • toper - a hard drinker (topping off a bottle)


One More For the Road

Whether you enjoy the occasional crapulence or you’d prefer an iced tea, there’s always room for new words on the menu. Order up another round of enhanced vocabulary with: