The buzz on France’s new phrase for binge drinking

REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

France’s General Commission of Terminology and Neology is charged with promoting the French language and shielding it from taking on too many foreign words and phrases. But what happens when foreign habits are taken up by the French and there is no linguistic equivalent? 


Well, it just happened with binge drinking. French speakers can now pull from their own lexicon with the new phrase “beuverie express”, officially introduced yesterday.

The new saying literally translates to fast drinking, but the Commission defines it as “massive consumption of alcohol, usually as part of a group, designed to cause intoxication in a minimum amount of time”.

Or four to five glasses in less than two hours, according to Le Monde.

Most of the Commission of Terminology and Neology's tasks are centred on keeping the French language relevant, whether it be adding new tech words or internet phrases from email to “courriel” back in 2003, to axing hashtag earlier this year for the French version, “mot-dièse”.

But as a sign of the times, this newest addition means much more than what comes out of our mouths.

A study last month by French health officials at the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES) found that 2.5 per cent of 15-30 year olds regularly consumed alcohol, and that levels were on the rise.

The French Society for the Study of Alcohol also released figures in March that attributed 400,000 hospital admissions a year to alcohol abuse, a 30 percent increase over the past three years.


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning