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"La Binge Drinking" Sweeps France

We’ve all heard it over the years: unlike us boorish Anglophones, the Continentals can handle their alcohol.  The French grow up drinking wine at dinner with their families; it is a natural part of life for them.

Look again.  An epidemic of “la binge drinking” as they call it is spreading through France; an estimated 45,000 people per year die of the effects of excessive alcohol consumption.  The UK based Guardian newspaper has the story and notes that the normally super-strict Académie Française language police aren’t looking for a purely French term to describe the binge drinking phenomenon.  Biggest worry for the French?  Rapid increases in binge drinking by young women aged 18-25.  “Mademoiselles Gone Wild,” coming to a web site near you.

By the way: why “la” binge drinking and not “le”? Anybody know?

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  • Eurydice

    I’m not completely fluent, but I think the word in French that’s closest to “binge” might be “bringue,” and it’s feminine.

  • Gabriel

    It is, in fact, “le binge drinking” (

    Although the closest french equivalents — “hyperalcoolisation” or “biture expresse” — are both feminine…

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