* “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”)