Out of the Mouths of Drinkers

20 top bons mots celebrating drinking


With Thanksgiving and the holiday season in full swing, it's a time to get together with family and friends to eat, drink, and be merry. It can also be a time of stilted small talk over cocktails, ranting or rambling red-faced toasts, and awkward silences around the dinner table.   

Well, we're here to save you from these social situations -- which, while hilarious in retrospect, can be excruciating and embarrassing while you're suffering through them.

Avoid the awkwardness by gracefully dropping a bon mot. Impress with a clever remark about something near and dear to your heart and which virtually all adults can relate to: drinking, and the joys and sorrows that come with it. And no need to come up with something original -- just take a look at our top 20 list of notable quotes from historical and cultural figures. One quick quip and you'll break the ice or slice through that silence.  
"Work is the curse of the drinking class." -- Oscar Wilde

"Health - what my friends are always drinking to before they fall down." -- Phyllis Diller

"I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it." -- Rodney Dangerfield

"Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me." -- Winston Churchill

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.” -- Frank Sinatra
"A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her." -- W.C. Fields

"Candy is dandy/ But liquor is quicker." -- Ogden Nash

"One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor." -- George Carlin

"Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth." -- George Burns

"Gin and drugs, dear lady, gin and drugs." -— T.S. Eliot, when asked about inspiration

"He that drinks fast, pays slow." -- Benjamin Franklin

"Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy." -- Samuel Johnson

"I never should have switched from Scotch to Martinis." -- last words of Humphrey Bogart

"If your doctor warns that you have to watch your drinking, find a bar with a mirror." -- John Mooney

"My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't need glasses.  Drinks right out of the bottle." -- Henny Youngman

"An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do." -- Dylan Thomas

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." -- Dean Martin

"Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy." -- Frank Sinatra

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." -- Henny Youngman

Mentioned in this article


  • this is great, now to find a party to toast.........

    Nov 25, 2010 at 7:48 PM

  • Snooth User: wpugin
    103569 2

    My favorite, still, is from Dorothy Parker:

    I like to have a martini,
    Two at the very most.
    After three I'm under the table,
    after four I'm under my host.

    Nov 25, 2010 at 11:59 PM

  • wpugin, that takes the cake! What a fab article in time for the holiday table!

    Nov 26, 2010 at 8:24 AM

  • Snooth User: Txtrpt
    257639 5

    I think it's "bons mot" or "bons mots" Wonderful, either way.

    Nov 26, 2010 at 10:06 AM

  • Snooth User: cc1929
    91108 5

    wpugin, that's my fav too and the only poem I have ever memorized!

    Nov 26, 2010 at 11:49 AM

  • Snooth User: domjoe
    76941 1

    it is bons mots (literally good words) plural - un bon mot (a good word) singular - hope this helps...

    Nov 26, 2010 at 1:30 PM

  • Snooth User: Catherine Gin
    Hand of Snooth
    592568 297

    Love the Dorothy Parker quote, wpugin!

    Txtrpt and domjoe, thanks for picking up on the plural of "bon mot". My bible, the Merriam-Webster, has both "bon mots" and "bons mots." But it might be a "bon" thing to go with the technically correct French version, so "bons mots" it is.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Think we could put together another article on this topic -- many great quotes out there, so I'd love to hear any more of your favorites.

    Nov 26, 2010 at 3:11 PM

  • Snooth User: nhwineknow
    95677 111

    "The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful, and a snootful at the same time?" - -Gerald Ford

    Nov 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM

  • Snooth User: michael54
    336856 2

    "When we drink, we get drunk;
    When we get drunk, we fall asleep;
    When we fall asleep, we commit no sin;
    When we commit no sin, we go to heaven;
    So let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"
    Old Irish Toast

    Nov 27, 2010 at 5:41 PM

  • Snooth User: lamumba
    571373 12

    Here's to good friends, who know you well, and like you anyway!

    Dec 01, 2010 at 1:07 PM

  • Snooth User: Catherine Gin
    Hand of Snooth
    592568 297

    Thanks everyone for the great quotes! We've put together 30 more bons mots -- including all your favorites as above -- just in time for New Year's Eve parties. You can check them out at "Drinkers Say the Darndest Things": http://www.thespir.it/articles/funn...

    Dec 30, 2010 at 5:26 PM

  • Snooth User: ianbow54
    355071 1

    can anyone remember the story told by the Postman in Cheers about how beer consumpotion makes the brain work faster? The analogy is with a herd of buffalo ( I think) in that the slowest always get picked off by predators thus making the herd faster Beer kills the weakest brain cells thus......

    Dec 31, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network