Please imagine someone is going to ask someone else to prepare or find something which its buying and selling is considered as illegal; (i.e. a sort of drug/narcotics - medicine - a type of alcoholic liquor in some religious countries.) Which word would work better in informall language in the self-made sentence bellow:

1) Can you handle a bottle of wine for me tonight?
2) Can you hook me up with a bottle of wine tonight?
3) Can you fix me up with a bottle of wine tonight?
4) Can you line me up with a bottle of wine tonight?

For me, numbers 2-3-4 work, but I have heard once someone used "handle" in this sense in a friendly and informal manner.


Be aware that phrases for these kinds of things are often very specific to their time, place, and milieu.

In England, you may well hear sorted out or just sorted for any kind of arrangement which could be just agreeing a hospital appointment for your mother, booking a restaurant or train, or arranging a truck of contraband with international smugglers. For emphasis all sorted. I the thing is contraband, it would normally be referred to tangentially or by a slang word.

  • Can you sort me out with a bottle of wine (get a bottle)
  • Can you sort me a bottle of wine (very colloquial)
  • You get the food, I'll sort the wine
  • (in restaurant) If you pay now, I'll sort you out tomorrow (pay you back)
  • Psst! We're sorted for tomorrow
  • Pstt! Tomoorow's all sorted (very colloquial)
  • Did you get the insurance sorted out. (=arranged here could mean did you buy insurance, did the insurance pay you, etc, depending on context)

There was a well-known song Sorted for E's and Whizz, referring to two kinds of drug, by the band Pulp. wikipedia

Your examples:

  1. Can you handle a bottle of wine for me tonight? Not good, because "Handle your drink" means able to drink without getting drunk
  2. Can you hook me up with a bottle of wine tonight? Not usual, because "to hook up with" means to meet, most usually meaning for sexual liaison
  3. Can you fix me up with a bottle of wine tonight? Perfectly good
  4. Can you line me up with a bottle of wine tonight? Perfectly good
  • Thank you @jonathanjo, but would you please tell me whether there is any regional preference between the usage of each verb: "sort", "sort out", "line up" and "fix up" as interchangeable verbs in this particular case. I mean are they the same in AmE/BrE?
    – A-friend
    May 24 '19 at 9:49
  • @A-friend - the term “sort (out)” in this context is very British - an American probably would not use it this way (I wouldn’t). I’d probably use “hook me up” - “to hook someone up with something” (in American colloquial English) means to obtain an illicit (or jokingly, not really illicit) substance for someone.
    – Mixolydian
    May 24 '19 at 12:00
  • I see @Mixolydian and thank you for pointing that out. But as you know and dictionaries mentioned that, "hook somebody up with something" has some sexual connotations. So you mean that being aware about this fact you use the term in the US. Right?
    – A-friend
    May 24 '19 at 12:06
  • 1
    @A-friend see definition 5 here (about goods/services) as opposed to definition 4 (about sex): en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/hook_up Both are acceptable uses in AmE. “Line up” doesn’t sound right to me, though “fix up” might be ok.
    – Mixolydian
    May 24 '19 at 12:14

Options 2 and 3 - "hit me up" and "fix me up" - both colloquially mean to "obtain" something for you, and there is a suggestion of it being at least a little sneaky, if not actually illegal.

Option 1 means the opposite though - asking someone to "handle" something means that they will either look after it, hide it, or fence it for you.

Option 4 does not sound idiomatic for this scenario at all. To be "lined up" for something means to wait in line behind other people, for example, "he is lined up to become the new manager" means that he will become the manager after the existing one. You might ask someone to line something up for you but again it suggests some kind of wait.

  • 1
    To "line something/someone up" means to arrange or organise it - see here dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/…
    – Showsni
    May 24 '19 at 8:39
  • @Showsni The example given there is a band - that is a different meaning of the word "line-up". Entertainment is referred to as a "line-up" because there can be several acts on a bill. You wouldn't ask "have you lined up a bottle of wine" in the same way.
    – Astralbee
    May 24 '19 at 8:46
  • 2
    No no, it's not talking about a just a musical line-up! You can certainly line up a bottle of wine for someone in British English. Check the second meaning here, collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/… or "line up" here thefreedictionary.com/lined+up (that gives several examples at various points on the page).
    – Showsni
    May 24 '19 at 9:05
  • 1
    Right, and "line me up" is acceptable idiomatic usage. It's like asking someone "plate me up a meal" (from plate up a meal for me) or "pick me out an outfit" (from pick out an outfit for me). Whilst technically the sentence "line me up with a bottle of wine" could also mean literally put me in line next to a bottle, from context it's clear that it's the other meaning that is meant.
    – Showsni
    May 24 '19 at 11:42
  • 1
    @Showsni But it doesn't fit the context! If there's a bottle "lined up" then it is waiting somewhere, and that is the very opposite of clandestine! The OP wants there to be an element of illegality. I don't think we will agree on this, the OP can consider which fits their specific need.
    – Astralbee
    May 24 '19 at 12:49

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