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"he drank it all up"

Posted by R. Berg on June 14, 2003

In Reply to: "He drank it all up" posted by Moe on June 14, 2003

: : : I've heard the phrase "he drank it all up" many times for many years. Here's my question. Do people who use the phrase, as in "he inherited a small fortune but he drank it all up and left his family poor", actually mean the person spent virtually all the money on booze? Or does it usually mean that he was profligate and extravagant in terms of possibly wine, women, song, travel, gambling, fancy clothes, and such like?

: : That's an odd usage. Here in the UK at least, we'd say "he drank it all away" (or gambled or w h o r ed or whatever). To drink something all up is more usually used to mean to take in information or emotion avidly, as in he drank up all the applause.

: Yes, I get your point. Here in North America, I have heard both. "He drank it all up" is the same as "he drank it all away" in the usage I have heard.

I construe "He drank it all up" to mean he spent the money on drinking. In my understanding of U.S. usage, this description doesn't include expenditures for women, song, and so forth.