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The meaning and origin of the expression: Drink like a fish

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Drink like a fish

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Drink like a fish'?

To 'drink like a fish' is to drink heavily, especially of alcoholic drink.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Drink like a fish'?

Drink like a fish.Clearly an allusion to fishes' close association with water and their apparent open-mouthed taking in of water is the source of 'drink like a fish'. Freshwater fish actually take in water by absorption rather than by drinking, although sea fish do actively drink seawater.

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Sea fish do actually drink seawater - don't try this at home.
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The phrase is known since 1640 and appears in Fletcher and Shirley's The Night-walker, or the Little Theife, from that date:

"Give me the bottle, I can drink like a Fish now, like an Elephant."

'Drink like an elephant' didn't catch on.

There is a more recent potential boost to use 'drink like a fish'. In January 2005 a press release for the Dalian Fisherman's Song Maritime Biological Brewery in China, said that they had developed a fermentation process to make fish into wine. So now, you can 'drink, like, a fish'.

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