Idiom Lesson “Three sheets to the wind” From Happy English New York!

Michael Idioms Leave a Comment

After a few cocktails, or beers, you may be three sheets to the wind. Have you heard this idiom? Three sheets to the wind means drunk. This idiom comes from the olden days of sailing. The word “sheet” on a sailboat refers to the ropes that are used to hold and adjust the sails. If the “sheets” on the boat are loose and flapping in the wind, then the sails will flap about, much like a drunken sailor. Thus, the expression three sheets to the wind came to mean being drunk.
The structure is very clear. Use the expression “three sheets to the wind” the same way you use the word drunk:
– After two bottles of wine last night, Lori was three sheets to the wind. (Lori was drunk)
– You look like you are three sheets to the wind. You’d better not drive. (You look like you are drunk)
We do not use this expression as an adjective, so you can’t say, “Look at that three sheets to the wind guy.”
When was the last time you were three sheets to the wind?
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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