Being slightly drunk, or tipsy, refers to the early stages of alcohol intoxication when someone begins feeling the effects of alcohol but is not severely impaired. There are a few different terms used to describe being slightly drunk, including:
Buzzed is one of the most common ways to describe the feeling of being slightly drunk. When someone is buzzed, they typically feel relaxed, sociable, and may experience mild sensory and motor impairment. Being buzzed is often thought of as a pleasant feeling before becoming overly intoxicated. Blood alcohol content (BAC) for feeling buzzed is usually around 0.03-0.07%.
Tipsy is another very common term for being slightly drunk. It is basically synonymous with buzzed. Someone who is tipsy may feel happier, more outgoing, clumsy, or silly. Their judgment and coordination start to become impaired. With a BAC around 0.04-0.06%, people often describe themselves as tipsy.
Wavy is slang used mostly by younger people to indicate feeling buzzed or tipsy. Someone who is wavy may start to feel loose, relaxed, or silly. Things seem funnier and they may start to slur their words a bit. Wavy indicates the effects of alcohol are starting to be felt.
Lit is another slang term used to describe being buzzed or tipsy. It suggests that someone is starting to feel good and energized from drinking alcohol. They may feel excited, talkative, and more social than usual. Things seem more enjoyable when someone is lit from drinking.
Feeling warm is a way to say alcohol is starting to take effect. The term suggests someone feels relaxed, comfortable, and may be flushed or feel actual physical warmth in their body from drinking. They start losing inhibitions and may act more affectionate.
Glowing conveys both the feeling of warmth and mood effects of being buzzed. Someone who is glowing is feeling happy, sociable, and uninhibited. Their face may appear red or flushed.
Saying someone is happy can be a simple way of conveying they are feeling good from the effects of alcohol. As alcohol starts working on the GABA system in the brain, people often feel more euphoric, upbeat, and optimistic after a drink or two.
When someone feels loose from alcohol, they are starting to feel more relaxed and less inhibited. They may be more comfortable chatting, joking around with people, and being themselves. Feeling loose suggests alcohol’s effects are setting in.
Sauced conveys that someone’s drinking is noticeably affecting them. They may feel less in control, relaxed, silly, or wobbly. Their behavior likely appears more exaggerated or unrestrained to others. Sauced falls in the range of tipsy and drunk.
Buttered up means someone feels smooth, mellow, and warm from drinking alcohol. Their judgment is impaired and they feel less inhibited. A person who is buttered up from alcohol may act more sentimental or emotional.
Lubricated is slang that indicates alcohol is starting to take effect. Discretion, restraint, and tension start to fade. Someone feeling lubricated from alcohol is less inhibited and serious than normal.
When someone is described as bright-eyed from drinking, it means they are feeling energized, optimistic, and enthusiastic. They may seem more animated and chatty than usual. Bright-eyed suggests alcohol is improving their mood.
Rosey refers to the flushed appearance and feeling of warmth some people get when drinking alcohol. A rosey person is also feeling cheerful and lighthearted as alcohol improves their mood.
Misty indicates someone is feeling a bit unfocused and silly from alcohol’s effects. Their thoughts and senses start to become dulled or fuzzy around the edges. They are likely very talkative and uninhibited when misty.
Floaty conveys a feeling of lightness, disconnection, and being carefree. Someone who is floaty probably has a buoyant, relaxed mood with reduced coordination. It suggests alcohol has lifted their level of awareness.
Calling someone a lightweight means they start feeling the effects of alcohol quickly with just a little bit of drinking. Lightweights tend to feel several of the symptoms of being tipsy with a lower amount of alcohol consumption.
When someone is described as simply delightful after drinking, it means the alcohol has put them in an upbeat, cheery mood. They feel less stressed and find things funnier and more enjoyable than usual.
In vino veritas
“In vino veritas” is a Latin phrase that means “in wine there is truth.” It suggests that when someone is slightly drunk, they are more likely to act on natural impulses and speak the truth with less inhibition.
There are many colorful terms and phrases to describe the feeling of being slightly impaired from alcohol consumption without being fully drunk. The most common ones refer to feeling buzzed, tipsy, relaxed, warm, silly, or uninhibited. Specific slang like “lit” and “wavy” is also used, especially by younger drinkers. While being slightly drunk can reduce stress and increase sociability for some, it impairs judgment and coordination. It is safest to avoid impaired driving and other risks when even slightly drunk.