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The meaning and origin of the expression: One over the eight

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One over the eight

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Meaning

The final drink that renders someone drunk.

Origin

This originated as UK military slang. The first reference to it in print is in Fraser and Gibbons' Soldier & Sailor Words, 1925:

"One over the eight, one drink too many. Slightly intoxicated, the presumption being that an average 'moderate' man can safely drink eight glasses of beer."

After a gallon of beer 'slightly intoxicated' seems a bit of an understatement. Beer was weaker in the 1920s than it is now, but even so.

Other phrases first cited in Fraser and Gibbons:

Go Dolally
Jam tomorrow

Loaf of bread (head)

See also one for the road.

Other 'One' phrases:

One-hit wonder
One fell swoop - At
One for the road
One foot in the grave
One sandwich short of a picnic
One small step for man
One stop shop
One swallow doesn't make a summer