* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”
It is December and on the social calendar that means bounenkai 忘年会. These end of year parties are often held for work groups, sports clubs or any gathering of friends who need another lame excuse for a few drinks. With so many of them it can be a period when there seem to be more drunks around than normal.
The most common terms used to describe drunks are 酔う（you、to get drunk）and 酔っ払い（yopparai, drunkard). However, these tend to be somewhat overused. Hebereke, however, is one term that doesn’t get used as often as it might. Hebereke means to get badly drunk and is most commonly seen in the phrase へべれけになる (Hebereke ni naru, to get drunk).
Everyone in Japan should have the opportunity to use hebereke over the next couple of weeks, whether it being describing your friend’s behaviour on Saturday night or the random incoherent guys struggling to catch the late night trains.
へべれけになるまで酒を飲む (Hebereke ni naru made sake wo nomu “Drink till you are as drunk as a skunk”)
4 thoughts on “J-WOTD: へべれけ”
It’s still one of the most comical things about this country to me to see men in suit and tie stumbling through the streets or sleeping in a gutter, often in their own vomit(but not always their own).
It’s a tribute to the safety levels of Japan as much as a social embarrassment. Ok, lets see if I can pronounce this new word after a few shots of sake!
I’m not as thunk as you drink I am, G-man
At least ya got the name right! unlike the hebereke gal I met last nite….is fondling a sleeping girl on the train still legal??
Guess it depends how old she is.