Three Sheets to the Wind

Three Sheets to the Wind: What Does It Mean? (with Helpful Examples)

You may have heard someone using the term three sheets to the wind during an English conversation. But what does this term mean and how can we use it in a conversation? We are going to take a look at the answers to both of these questions as well as taking a look at the origin of this phrase.

Three Sheets to the Wind

Three Sheets to the Wind Meaning

The meaning of the term three sheets to the wind is to be very drunk.

Origin of this English idiom

The phrase three sheets to the wind originally comes from a nautical background. The term was one used by sailors many years ago, who had a ‘sheet scale’ to measure drunkenness in each other. Three sheets referred to being at the stage where one might fall over after drinking too much alcohol.

“Three Sheets to the Wind” Examples

Examples in Sentences

We are now going to take a look at some examples of times in which you might hear the phrase three sheets to the wind in a sentence.

The first example is a statement being made by a wife about her husband.

  • He came home late from the pub and made such a noise that he woke the children, he must have had a lot to drink, he was three sheets to the wind.

The next statement is one being made by a father.

  • My son has started going to bars a lot now that he is 18, he often comes home three sheets to the wind of a weekend.

Conversation Examples

You are likely to hear the idiom three sheets to the wind many times during the conversation. We will now take a look at some of the things that you might hear when it is being used.

This first conversation is taking place between two friends.

  • Person 1; “I had a great time at the club last weekend.”
  • Person 2; “Me too, did you ask John if he had a good time?”
  • Person 1; “No, but he was three sheets to the wind by 10 pm, I’m sure he had fun.”

The next conversation is taking place between a boyfriend and girlfriend.

  • Person 1; “How was your evening out with your friends?”
  • Person 2; “It was good, but I think I had too much to drink.”
  • Person 1; “Yes, I noticed that when you called me up, you sounded like you were three sheets to the wind.”

Other Ways to Refer to “Three Sheets to the Wind”

There are plenty of other ways you might refer to the phrase three sheets to the wind.

Here are some examples of other things you could say in its place.

  • Had one too many
  • Bladdered
  • Drunk

Three Sheets to the Wind | Image

Three Sheets to the Wind

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