Drink like a fish


      • drink excessively
        To consume a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, often to the point of drunkenness

      • have a strong capacity for drinking
        To have a high tolerance for alcohol and be able to consume large quantities without becoming heavily intoxicated

      • enjoy drinking
        To have a strong preference for consuming alcohol and to do so frequently and with great pleasure

    Examples of Drink like a fish

    • Sally could drink like a fish during her college days. She would down multiple bottles of wine and spirits at every party, leaving her friends in awe of her alcohol tolerance.

      This idiom is used to illustrate the excessive consumption of alcohol, comparing it to the natural behavior of a fish constantly swallowing water. When someone drinks like a fish, it means they drink a large amount of alcohol in a short period, often leading to intoxication. The phrase is commonly used to describe someone's once-in-a-while drinking habits, but might not necessarily be a regular occurrence. But in Sally's case, it seems her drinking habits were more like a constant stream!

    • After a long and stressful week at work, Jack's colleague invited him for a night out. They hit a few bars and Jack found himself drinking like a fish. He slurred his words and stumbled home, forgetting to lock his door.

      Here, the idiom is used to depict Jack's sudden and excessive consumption of alcohol, as if he had forgotten his natural limitations, just like a fish that disregards the need to breathe on land. The phrase highlights how alcohol can impair one's judgment, leading to foolish or careless behavior.

    • The new bar downtown has an extensive cocktail list and customers rave about their drink offerings. The bartender pours a drink for Lisa, and she takes a sip, then another, and another. Before she knows it, she's drinking like a fish and ordering shots for everyone at the bar.

      This example illustrates how the environment and drink options can instigate excessive drinking behavior, almost as if the drinks enticed the person to drink like a fish. It highlights how having too many options, or being surrounded by people who are drinking excessively, can lead to the same behavior in others, leading one to undergo a similar state of drinking.

    • The athlete was told to drink like a fish before his high-intensity workout. He consumed gallons of water before stepping into the gym, and the coach was amazed at his endurance and performance.

      This example speaks of water intake, using a different context for the idiom, where the literal interpretation is used. Drinking like a fish in this instance signifies consuming a large amount of water, almost to the point where a fish permanently submerged in water would consume it. The phrase is used to describe an individual who puts great effort into his hydration to maintain endurance and performance, just like a fish surviving in water.

    • Sarah's cousin Tom could drink like a fish at their family reunions.

      Tom had an incredible thirst and could easily drink large amounts of alcohol, just as a fish can drink a lot of water due to its constant need to hydrate.

    • After a long day of hiking in the desert, the group exhausted all their water supplies and were forced to drink like fishes to survive.

      They eagerly gulped down water from every available source, just as a fish would devour water to replenish the moisture it needs to survive in its habitat.

    • My friend's daughter, Hannah, was so excited to try out the new slushy machine that she drank like a fish and was left with a terrible headache.

      Hannah drank an excessive amount of the slushy drink in a short span of time, just as a fish would consume a lot of water in a short amount of time without any ill effects.

    • The championship winning soccer team celebrated their victory with a banquet feast, and the coach challenged the players to drink like fishes to honor their teamwork and spirit.

      The coach encouraged the players to indulge in a grand feast and toast to their success, just as a fish would gorge on food to celebrate its survival in the wild.


    The idiom "drink like a fish" is used to describe someone who consumes alcohol in large amounts, either excessively or frequently. It can also imply a high tolerance for alcohol and a strong enjoyment of drinking.

    In all of its meanings, the idiom carries a negative connotation as it suggests unhealthy and potentially dangerous drinking habits. It is often used to caution against excessive alcohol consumption and to discourage others from engaging in this behavior.

    Origin of "Drink like a fish"

    The origin of the idiom "drink like a fish" is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the 17th century. Some theories suggest that it may have been inspired by the behavior of certain fish, such as goldfish, which have been observed to continuously consume large amounts of water.

    Alternatively, the phrase may have its roots in the belief that fish are constantly surrounded by water and therefore have a never-ending supply to drink from. This could have been used figuratively to describe someone who appears to have an endless capacity for drinking alcohol.

    In conclusion, the idiom "drink like a fish" is used to describe excessive or frequent alcohol consumption, and is believed to have originated in the 17th century. Whether its origins are rooted in the behavior of fish or the concept of an endless supply of water, the idiom continues to be used today to caution against unhealthy drinking habits.