A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/17)
“How do you stop a dog from barking in the back yard?"/"Put it in the front yard.” (10/17)
“What do you call a nightmare about paper?"/"A bad ream.” (10/17)
“I’ve been cutting carbs lately—with a pizza cutter” (10/17)
“Why did the dog cross the road?"/"To get to the barking lot.” (10/17)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from May 12, 2015
“Drunk is when you feel sophisticated, but can’t pronounce it”

“You’re drunk when you feel sophisticated and can’t pronounce it” is a jocular one-liner from the New York City humor magazine The Judge in 1937. “Drunk is when you feel sophisticated, but can’t pronounce it” was cited on Twitter on July 29, 2012, when the saying was repopularized as a bar sign.


Google Books
The Judge
Volumes 112-113
1937
Pg. 98:
“Simile: As easy as falling off a water wagon,” “There’s no fool like an oiled fool,” and “You’re drunk when you feel sophisticated and can’t pronounce it.”

8 April 1937, The Indian Journal (Eufaula, OK), “Pete’s Paragraphs!” by Walter Fears, pg. 7, col. 4:
Prom the same publication (The Judge—ed.) I learned that “You’re drunk when you feel .sophisticated and can’t pronounce it.”

Trove
28 October 1950, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Australia), pg. 2, col. 9:
ON DRINKING
DEFINITION: “Drunk is when you feel sophisticated, and can’t pronounce it.”

Google Books
Drifting Twigs
By Dalton E. Brady
New York, NY: Comet Press Books
1958
Pg. 165:
You are drunk when you feel sophisticated and are not able to pronounce it.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
2 January 1975, The Leader-Observer (Queens, NY), “Brief Cases” by Kurt D. Shamberg, pg. 4, col. 4:
A good way to tell that you are drunk is when you feel sophisticated but can’t spell it.

Google Books
Henny Youngman’s Bar Bets, Bar Jokes and Bar Tricks
By Henny Youngman
New York, NY: Wings Books
1994
Pg. 128:
You’re drunk when you feel sophisticated and can’t pronounce it.

Twitter
Anirban Banerjee
‏@anirban_82
Drunk is when you feel sophisticated, but can’t pronounce it.
10:51 AM - 29 Jul 2012

Twitter
Hurricane Hodoug
‏@dougigem
Drunk is when you feel sophisticated, but can’t pronounce it. #truth
11:15 AM - 29 Jul 2012

Twitter
Geek-a-Bite
‏@eshaan
Drunk is when you feel sophisticated but can’t pronounce it… http://9gag.com/gag/4895096 via @9GAG
1:38 AM - 30 Jul 2012

Just a Gypsy—Gypsy Journal
April 6, 2014
A Frustrating Start
Posted by Nick Russell at 3:22 am
(...)
Thought For The Day – Drunk is when you feel sophisticated but can’t pronounce it.

The Irish Times
Bar sign linking buying a drink with sex ‘unacceptable’
Experts on sexual crime say sign promotes ‘falsehood that consent can be purchased’

Kitty Holland
First published:
Mon, Mar 16, 2015, 17:49
(...)
Duty manager of the bar, Jerry Segs, said a female member of staff had written the slogan on the double-sided blackboard for Valentine’s Day. He said it was not always on display and the slogan on the other side, “Drunk is when you feel sophisticated but can’t pronounce it”, was more usually displayed: “We’re usually using the other side. If this side is out it’s a mistake.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, May 12, 2015 • Permalink