Is it natural and correct to say drink a thing meaning to exchange the thing for alcohol or sell it to get alcohol to drink it? For example:

After John lost his job, he drank all the valuable things he had.

In the TV show Friends the next morning after a party, where Chandler drank a lot of alcohol, he said

Well, my apartment isn’t there anymore, because I drank it.

Did he use the phrase jokingly in the sense of selling his apartment to get more alcohol?

  • 1
    Can you provide context? Is this from a book/movie? It certainly isn't a common saying in my experience.
    – michael
    May 2 '20 at 14:04
  • I have edited the question. May 2 '20 at 14:16

It works, as a piece of figurative speech, provided that there is the context for it to be understood.

It is also pretty rare (alcohol is pretty cheap/pretty toxic so you would normally have a health crisis before you actually ran out of money) So I wouldn't say it is a common expression. I can find one example on google of "He drank his car" (apart from people asking questions about it) That suggests it isn't at all common.

I'd probably avoid using it unless you were writing a story in an elevated style using lots of metaphor and figurative speech. If you're just talking, keep it simple.

  • So what would you say? May 2 '20 at 14:36
  • I'd say John was an alcoholic. He lost his job and then spent all his money on booze. Even after he sold his car and his house, he still wouldn't seek help. --- So this is the thing, alcohol is cheap enough that it is actually pretty hard to spend all your money on it, unless you have other problems (that may be related or may be incidental, like losing your job)
    – James K
    May 2 '20 at 14:39
  • 1
    If someone allowed drink to take over their life, to the extent that important things got neglected, and life changes happened, you could say that they drank their marriage, job, home, family, etc, away. May 2 '20 at 20:36
  • Yes, its possible, but I'd prefer "drank his marriage away" It works as a metaphor, but its not really common or everyday. It could work in a piece of figurative prose, but in normal talking, this is not the best way.
    – James K
    May 2 '20 at 20:39
  • @JamesK - if you are saying that speaking in metaphors is not common or everyday, I have to disagree. I have heard an alcoholic's eventual fate summarised as 'he drowned in a whisky glass", and it is very common for people to say of drunkenly chosen overnight partners, "I must have been wearing beer goggles". These are just randomly chosen examples. Another is, of drunken waste, "he pissed his inheritance up the wall". May 2 '20 at 20:55

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