The etymology of the hangover

On the blog Proof for the New York Times, Iain Gately ponders the history of hangovers and the euphemisms used to deal with them.

Language somehow seems inadequate when it comes to describing that "not so fresh" feeling on the morning after the night before. Even Benjamin Franklin struggled with the concept in a piece entitled "The Drinkers Dictionary," in which he offered, among other phrases, the following:

  • “He sees the Bears”
  • “He’s got his Top Gallant Sails out”
  • “Been too free with Sir Richard”