• Stefan Andrej Shambora

Welcome a newcomer to the lexicon: butt chugging. Butt chugging also takes a more prosaic label, the “alcohol enema,” but the former was the nom du jour at a Tuesday press conference conducted by a lawyer involved in the nation’s foremost butt-chugging case—he used the phrase on account of the gravitas it lent the proceedings, I imagine. Butt chugging refers to the rectal consumption of alcohol (pretty NSFW illustration here, via Buzzfeed, of course), and is not a supergreat idea, even if you really love getting drunk. The lawyer and his client, a fraternity member at the University of Tennessee, would only stipulate to these facts: There was a frat party at which young men played a game called “Tour de Franzia.” As the student, Alexander P. Broughton, noted in a later statement, “I consumed wine from a wine box.” A lot of it, apparently, as a case of alcohol poisoning soon sent Broughton to the hospital, where he was asked if he’d engaged in butt chugging. (There was some suggestive evidence, but this is a dignified blog.) “What in the world is that?” Broughton responded, according to his lawyer.

The folly of youth aside, other issues are at stake here, like—how long till butt chugging makes it into the OED? Maybe they can address the inconsistent application of the hyphen across media sources—“butt chugging” here, “butt-chugging” there, but “butt-chugging incident,” let’s all agree, or for that matter “butt-chugging enthusiast.” It brings to mind a June blog post by Mary Norris, of the New Yorker‘s copyediting department, about a letter she’d received from a reader complaining that “star fucker,” which had appeared in a story about Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt, needed a hyphen. Why, sure, Norris agrees: “See how, with the hyphen, the weight of the word comes down on the first half of the compound? Star-fucker. Without the hyphen, the word tips, giving equal weight to both nouns and turning the compound from an insult to a term of endearment.”