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Definition: To feel ill because of an excessive indulgence of eating and/or drinking.

Pronunciation: Crapu-lis

Origin: A good, solid word with strong Indo-European roots – there are variants of this word found in both Greek (Kraipale) and Latin (Crapula). Rather amusingly, the Greek root translates as: hangover, drunken headache, nausea from debauching. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a hangover from debauchery – but then, I’m Irish – not Greek!

Why this word?

Hundreds of millions of Christians will soon ‘celebrate’ lent. And by ‘celebrate’, I mean, of course, to starve ones-self – or, at the very least – deprive ones-self of something you like – for some forty days and nights. The best way to prepare for such ‘celebration’? Why, overindulging in food and drink to the point of crapulousness should do it, I would think!

And if you miss the opportunity to approach your food with the intent of debauchery before lent, fear not, for the Christian world caters for all. The resurrection of Jesus is, of course, celebrated with a glut of chocolate eggs delivered by a rabbit (naturally) that will allow another chance to reach the dizzying and crapulous heights. Lent is bookended with bouts of crapulousness.

How to use this word

This falls into the category of words that people don’t have to have heard before to understand what they mean. Next time a friend calls over to find you hung-over? Tell him that you are feeling ‘crapulous’. Job done!


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Written by Sean Carabini

Seán Carabini is a Dublin-based author. To date, Seán has written the humorous travel memoirs 'Sticking Out in Minnesota' and 'American Road', as well as 'American Road: The poems' - a book of travel poetry related to the memoir. Seán has also developed a podcast based on the book - subscribe to the American Road podcast today! Seán is a committee member of the Irish Writers' Union.

Chrissy Skelton is Seán Carabini's editor. A graduate of the University of Minnesota's Anthropology programme, Chrissy emerged armed with an arsenal of little-known words and cumbersome jargon - all of which will now be off-loaded onto 'unusedwords' readers!


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