The Necessary Vocabulary
(5) When drinking and getting drunk
When one"s drinking a lot of alcohol he finally gets drunk (formally: reaches the state of mind where the awareness of oneself is weakened and cultural inhibitions disappear) and can even lose his or her consciousness (=become unconscious, faint), that is pass out. People who drink a lot managing not to get totally drunk are heavy drinkers.
Getting drunk can be described informally as getting pissed:
"Last Saturday we all got absolutely pissed"
=we got so drunk, that we could hardly walk. In fact:
"We staggered back home"
=we walked home in an unstable manner and definitely not in a straight line.
To stagger also means to make someone feel shocked or surprised because of something unexpected or very unusual happening:
'I was staggered to hear he's not coming back.'
"We have all listened to his staggering account of his journey in the Middle East."
When you drink a small glass of pure vodka at one go, you down a shot of vodka.
'I'm very shy. I have to down at least five shots before going onto the dance floor.'
When you add alcohol or some drug into someone else's drink without him/her knowing it, you spike it:
'She seems completely out of it. Have you spiked her drink or what?'
Coming back to the to piss, its main meaning is obviously 'to urinate' as in:
"Oh, I"ve drunk so much. I want to piss" óthis is suitable in an all-male company of fellow rugby players. If that"s not the case, a better way to put it (=to say it) would be:
"I'll go to the loo"
But our verb offers much more than that:
"And then Mark started to take the piss out of Dan"
=Mark started to make fun of him, that is to make ironic remarks at his expense (=so that Dan felt offended) that humiliated Dan (=made everyone laugh at him and threatened his social position).
(You see, all this formal bullshitting is neatly contained in the initial sentence)
"Dan got really pissed off with Mark"
=Dan got annoyed with Mark.
"Hey, stop taking the piss!î he said"
=that"s what you can say when you feel someone"s making fun of you in a rude way.
"But Mark didn"t stop and so Dan said he'll beat the shit out of him"
=he'll beat Mark very brutally. This is slightly more informal than all the above.
Obviously to shit is slang for medical to empty your bowels.
"Dan's saying that scared the shit out of Mark"
=Mark got really scared by what Dan said.
Finally, some people get really drunk so that they throw up (=vomit). To vomit, to throw up and to puke all mean the same, but the first one is a straightforward medical term, the second is an informal, while the last one is slang:
"The patient vomited"
"He got pissed yesterday and threw up. He"s had an awful hangover all the morning" =he"s had a headache as a result of heavy drinking.
"I went to have a piss and seen this guy puking all over himself"
=that"s a description straightforward enough.