Printable Version
Pronunciation: kræ-pyê-lêns Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: Crapulence is the discomfort resulting from immoderate eating or drinking. However, some think that crapulence is overeating or overdrinking itself. I don't.

Notes: This word has two adjectives: the obvious crapulent plus a synonym, crapulous. Each has an adverb crapulently and crapulously, respectively. This word is used rarely in medicine in its original Latin sense of "intoxication", but it still serves as a good general substitute for hangover.

In Play: Now that you know crapulence doesn't mean what you thought it means, you may use it even in polite company: "Thanksgiving dinner was a feast of plenty at our house, but it brought on a wicked bout of crapulence that scoffed at every antacid I fed it." Good advice to keep in mind: "If the wages of thin are hunger, the wages of pudge are crapulence."

Word History: This funny word comes from Late Latin crapulentus "drunk", an adjective built up from the noun crapula "intoxication". The root of crapula is the same as that of Greek kraipale "hangover". It is totally unrelated to crap, which comes from the losing throw in the dice game called craps. This word was donated to English by the French speakers of Louisiana. The 'Cajun' French word was borrowed from English crabs, the original name of the dice game. Crab is related to crawl, an activity often accompanying crapulence from drinking. The nausea following immoderate indulgence in shooting craps comes from poverty and is also unrelated to crapulence.

Dr. Goodword,

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