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Euphemism: ‘Heavy episodic drinking’

Ian West/PA Wire

heav▪y ep▪i▪sod▪ic drink▪ing (n.): A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Americans are chugging a whopping 17.5 billion drinks a year during binges — that is, drinking sessions that, in a two-hour period, involve four drinks for women or five drinks for men. But the very term “binge” doesn’t just sound judgey; it also makes these episodes seem less common then they are.

Interviewed by Gizmodo, University of Buffalo researcher Brian Quigley explained his preference for “heavy episodic drinking.” “When the public hears the term ‘binge drinking,’” Quigley said, “they think of something else, more akin to a ‘lost weekend’ involving a person drinking for days and having blackouts. That is, of course, an extreme example of a heavy drinking episode.”