Tie One On

What was said? “You going to tie one on?”

Did someone really say that? Yes, Vince Vaughn to Colin Farrell on the 2nd episode of True Detectives Season 2.

What does it mean? Basically – to get really drunk.

Origin: Multiple theories exist:

  1. Derived from the term “hang one on” – which refers to the “hang”over that one hangs onto the morning after you drink / “hang” one on. With this origin, many believe that tie one on means to begin drinking before your hangover from the previous night has worn off – therefore tying onto the previous drinking session (The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism” by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver – Wordsworth Reference, New York, 1983, 1990)
  2. In the wild west of the USA, there was a notion that you had to tie up your host to a post outside a watering hole / saloon hence the “tie one on” saying (most sources believe this is not the true origina)
  3. An old British saying “Tie a bun on” where “bun” refers to drunkenness where on one site there is a theory that the “bun” refers to proving your sobriety by balancing a bun on your head, and if you are drunk you would tie it on so it wouldn’t fall off.





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Filed under Business Sayings, Idiom, Idioms, Phrases, Sayings

4 responses to “Tie One On

  1. Zaina

    Rema — I love your blog it is so much fun to read, I look forward to it and it makes my day! Love Zaina

  2. Ann Buchholz

    I’ve got 2 for u. The whole nine yards referred to a machine gun in WW 2 that had an ammo belt that was nine yards long. So if u really wanted to make sure the enemy was dead u gave them the whole nine yards. Also the phrase 86 refers to a dated NYC amendment that let business refuse service to anyone they chose. So people started saying they got 86 ed if they were kicked out of a certain establishment.

  3. Gene Poole

    “Know the score” refers to a musical score and not the score of a game – doesn’t it?

  4. Pingback: Why Do They Say “Tie One On”? – Doyle's Space

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