Intermediate+ Word of the Day: guzzle

guzzle (verb, noun) /ˈgʌzəl/ LISTEN

To guzzle means ‘to eat or drink greedily or excessively.’ Figuratively, if someone or something uses something in large quantities, that is also guzzling. Guzzle or gozzle is also used in the South and South Midland of the US as an informal term for throat.

Example sentence

  • The thirsty child guzzled the whole bottle of cola in less than a minute.
  • This old car guzzles gas.
  • Martin grabbed the other man by his guzzle.

In pop culture

Guzzling is not generally a good thing, especially if you are guzzling something unhealthy like sweets, as emphasized in this song from the musical Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:

Did you know?

Although guzzling is generally seen as greedy and not good for you, some people guzzle on purpose in order to win competitive eating contests, as you can see in this video clip:

Other forms

guzzler (noun)

Origin

Guzzle, meaning ‘to swallow liquid greedily,’ dates back to the late 16th century. Its origin is uncertain, but some linguists think it may be related (or even have come from) the Old French gosillier (‘to go down the gullet,’ ‘to vomit’ or ‘to talk or chatter’), from gosier (throat, gullet or jaws). Others think it emerged from an imitation of the sound made when you drink greedily. Its sense extended to eating in the early 17th century. The noun comes from the verb, and dates back to the late 16th century. It originally meant ‘a drain’ and, though it is no longer used in this sense, the figurative colloquial meaning, ‘throat,’ came from the original meaning. Guzzle was also slang for liquor in the early 18th century, and for ‘a bout of heavy drinking’ in the 19th century, though both these senses have fallen out of use.

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