Jan 25, 2021
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The meaning and origin of the phraseological unit “How to drink to give”

The meaning and origin of the phraseological unit

Expression “How to drink to give” occurs in the speech of those who are confident in themselves and the results of their actions. This, as it would be said now, is one of the markers of internal success.

Do you often use this phraseological unit? Can we always predict events with accuracy? Let’s look for answers together!

The meaning of phraseological units

The phrase “How to drink to give” means “exactly”, “certainly”, “necessarily”, “with one hundred percent guarantee.” The form “How to drink will be given” is sometimes indicated as the initial one, explaining that some business will be completed not only in any case, but also easily, quickly.

Confirmation of this is found in fiction: I. I. Lazhechnikov, P. I. Melnikov-Pechersky, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin.

We still actively use this expression in colloquial speech. “How to drink to give will deceive” – ​​mentally predicts the buyer, seeing a lively merchant twisting his mustache.

“Will leave me right after my honeymoon,” the loving groom concludes darkly about his spoiled bride, who has dramatically changed her communication style after the wedding.

It is curious that the idiom “How to drink to give” most often predicts negative events. This is how it was originally. But today you can be assured of the success of the business, backing up your words with bright phraseological units.

The thing is that the expression has two sources of origin, differing in meaning.

The origin of the idiom

The phraseological dictionary on the resource “Akademik” refers us to a dark story about poisoners posing as doctors.

Home-grown healers of antiquity did not receive certificates of professional aptitude and, calling themselves doctors, received free access to almost anyone.

Often this was used by those who wished their neighbors death. The poisoners gave the victims a drink that turned out to be poisonous.

From here arose the first (negative) meaning of the phraseologism “How to drink they will give” (that is, how they will poison): “they will be deceived, deceived, they will cause harm.”

The modern meaning of the idiom is associated with the ease and naturalness of such a thing as offering water to travelers. Wherever the wanderer stops, they will bring him a ladle of water. This is the first law of elementary hospitality.

The owner may refuse to have dinner or an overnight stay, but he will definitely give water. Therefore, the expression “How to drink will give” means a guaranteed result.


Synonymous with this expression are phraseological units and proverbs:

  • I give my word;
  • I give a grudge;
  • I give my head to cut off.

In the same row there are fencing oaths-sayings “Let me fall dead!”, “Let me burst”, “So that it was empty for me!” ! ” other.

How to drink to give you remember other, more modern synonyms, among which there will be many jargon and vernacular. And this is good, because the word lives a full life in living (pardon the tautology) speech!

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