Project Tope

Quoth the OED: “One who topes or drinks a great deal; a hard drinker; a drunkard. Now chiefly literary.”

Hals’s relentless jolliness isn’t confined to his genre scenes of rollicking topers… (Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, August 8, 2011)

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5 responses to “Project Tope

  1. I would change “chiefly” to “only.” I’ve never heard it spoken; only read it.

  2. Have I missed something? One quotation from 100 years ago? I’ve never heard/seen the word on either side of the Atlantic!

    • My mistake–I dated it as 1911 when it was really 2011 (now corrected). I always love a good New Yorker Britishism, especially an archaic one.

  3. As a Brit, I must say that this is a word that I have never heard of before…

  4. British writers often use archaic words and constructions they would never say. Don’t know why, yea, verily.

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