‘alcoholiday’: meaning and origin

A blend of the nouns alcohol and holiday, the humorous noun alcoholiday denotes a holiday or period of leisure spent drinking alcoholic liquor.

For example, alcoholiday occurs as the title of a play by Ted Satterfield and Melanie Wilderman, which was presented in December 2017 by Artspace at Untitled, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:

[Artspace] at Untitled is happy to present Alcoholidays, a comedic stage play directed by Tim Berg, following married couple Meg and Jacob as they make their way through the usual list of obligatory holiday parties. From co-workers, to families, to old friends, their only goal is to make the most of every difficult situation. But when forced into corners to discuss physical ailments and hilarious family drama, there’s only one thing to do: drink! With Christmas sweaters and holiday spirits, these parties go from unbearable to unforgettable in one guzzle.
This side-splitting comedy was written by married couple, writing team, and native Oklahomans Ted Satterfield and Melanie Wilderman.

The noun alcoholiday has, in the course of time, been coined on separate occasions by various persons, independently from one another.

These are, in chronological order, the earliest occurrences of alcoholiday that I have found—interestingly, in early use, i.e., in Victorian times, the word was particularly associated with excessive indulgence in alcohol regarded as characteristic of the working class:

1-: From Fun (London, England) of Wednesday 10th January 1877:

Our Flow of Spirits.

Public holidays in England, says a French contemporary, are marred by the insobriety of the populace. Exactly. Our fête days are our alco-holidays.

2-: From the column Varieties, published in the Roscommon and Leitrim Gazette (Boyle, Roscommon, Ireland) of Saturday 25th January 1879:

The Sort of Holiday too Many British Workmen Take.—An alcoholiday.

3-: From an extract from the comic paper Funny Folks, published in The Leighton Buzzard Observer and Linslade Gazette (Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England) of Tuesday 6th September 1881:

THE INNOCENT AT THE TEMPERANCE EXHIBITION.
(And what he wants to know, you know.)

Isn’t it an insult to call this exhibition the “tee-totallers’ U-tope-ia?”
Is a frequent recourse to publicans’ measures the origin of the saying, “gone to pot?”
Does the “pale of temperance” contain a strictly non-intoxicating liquid?
Isn’t milk the real genuine teat-totallers’ suction?
What is the duty charged upon aë-rated waters?
Is there any affinity between English “pop” and Indian “bhang?”
Is a “cocktail” considered a very fowl tipple?
When a man is “regularly tight,” is it a proof that he’s “properly screwed?”
Do total abstainers ever indulge in “port wine marks?”
What would be the result if the annual temperance fête at the Crystal Palace were described as the tee-totallers’ alco-hol-iday?
Isn’t, after all, the real “cup that cheers” the noisy “wine cup?”
Would a raw hand at the business mind being called a “green-tea-totaller?”

4-: From an extract from the comic paper Funny Folks, published in the Hampshire Telegraph & Sussex Chronicle (Portsmouth, Hampshire, England) of Saturday 16th September 1882:

TIPPLING TIPS.
(A Few “Points” Missed in the Lancet’s Recent Warning Against Promiscuous “Drinks.”)

Neat spirits are obviously an “unmixed” evil.
The “nip” of brandy is likely to develop the “pinch” of poverty.
Intoxicants, if indulged in at all, should be taken only at meal times—when their harmful effects will be a-meal-iorated.
“The tippling at ‘off’ hours” (as the Lancet puts it) is mostly indulged in by those who are “on.”
The rapid “going down” of the glass may be equally the percursor of a “storm” or a “shine.”
In drink transactions between the publican and his customers, the former naturally gets the best of the bar-gain.
It is regrettable that the “average Englishman” cannot enjoy a holiday unless in the form of an alcohol-iday.

5-: From an extract from the comic paper Funny Folks, published in The Oxfordshire Weekly News (Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England) of Wednesday 27th May 1885:

The Innocent Among the Anti-Budget Conspiritors—(And What he Wants to Know, You Know.)—But, I say, isn’t this assemblage—and following—of persons engaged in the grog interests, an argument in favour of man’s grog-ariousness? Doesn’t the action of the distillers in this connection prove the truth of the saw, “Still waters run deep?” Do the trade justify their agitation on the ground of the question being one of toper-cal interest, or what? How is that, from the beery point of view, the addition of a fraction of a farthing to the price of a pint of beer, is a sign of the Government’s “going to pot?” Isn’t this protest against the augmentation of the drink duties significant of the eagerness of the Tory publican to “do his duty?” How is that the publicans, in their capacity of “spirit media,” failed to foresee the effect of the Budget? Isn’t it quite in the fitness of things for spirits to be taxed for the maintenance of a “spirited foreign policy?” Would it be fair to accuse anyone who takes nothing but non intoxicants at an inn of inntemperance? Isn’t it natural for the offspring of a father and mother who indulge in too frequent “nips” to feel the “pinch,” seeing how they’re injured by the pair of nippers? Do publicans call reducing the strength of spirits “breaking down” on the principle that broken spirits are weak? Aren’t the careers of distillers admittedly endowed with artistic merit, seeing what capital examples they present of “still life?” Is a “distiller’s plant” a “rum shrub,” or what? Can “spruce” be taken otherwise than “neat?” Doesn’t a mass meeting “to protest against the addition to the beer and spirit duties” afford a fine excuse for an alcoholiday?

6-: From an essay on what day should be the United States of America’s Independence Day, published in The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) of Thursday 2nd July 1885:

If the honor of being the natal day of American Independence belongs to that on which the Declaration became, by virtue of its signatures, the expression of the nation’s will, the 2d of August should receive it. If the substantial, legal act of separation from the British Crown gives the greater prominence, then we should celebrate the 2d of July, because the dictum of the people “in Congress assembled” is contained rather in the resolution of that date than in the Declaration. But common consent has determined to date the great anniversary from the apparently subordinate event of the passage of the Declaration, and thus our patriotism finds sulphurous vent on the Fourth of July, in whatever part of the world two or more Yankee patriots may be gathered together. “The majority rules” is the hard-pan, the rock-bottom of our political system; and as majorities rarely make mistakes when called upon to decide momentous questions, it is well for us to keep the glorious Fourth as the holiday of the nation, with an ever-increasing effort to make it less and less an alcoholiday as time grows older.