on the wagon


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Related to on the wagon: off the wagon

on the wagon

Maintaining one's sobriety; abstaining from alcohol or drugs. The common phrase "off the wagon" is used to indicate the opposite. I'm much healthier now that I'm on the wagon, but I find it hard to socialize with my friends. Thinking about my daughter's future helps keep me on the wagon.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

on the wagon

Fig. not drinking alcohol. No, I don't care for a cocktail. I'm on the wagon. Bob's old drinking buddies complained that he was no fun when he went on the wagon.
See also: on, wagon
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on the wagon

Abstaining from drinking alcoholic beverages, as in Don't offer her wine; she's on the wagon. This expression is a shortening of on the water wagon, referring to the horse-drawn water car once used to spray dirt roads to keep down the dust. Its present meaning dates from about 1900. The antonym off the wagon, used for a resumption of drinking, dates from the same period. B.J. Taylor used it in Extra Dry (1906): "It is better to have been on and off the wagon than never to have been on at all."
See also: on, wagon
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the wagon

If someone is on the wagon, they have stopped drinking alcohol. I'm on the wagon for a while. Cleaning out my system. Note: You can say that someone falls off the wagon when they start to drink alcohol again after a period of not drinking it. Sadly, he fell off the wagon after 12 dry years. Note: Originally the expression was `on the water wagon' or `water cart'. Water carts were horse-drawn carts used for transporting water or for sprinkling the streets. If someone was `on the wagon', they were drinking water and not alcohol.
See also: on, wagon
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

on the wagon

teetotal. informal
This expression originated in early 20th-century American use in the form on the water wagon , the implication being that a person on the water wagon would eschew alcohol in favour of water.
1989 Michael Norman These Good Men I'll just have a club soda with a twist of lime…I'm on the wagon.
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Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on the wagon

mod. not now drinking alcoholic liquor. How long has John been on the wagon this time?
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McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

on the wagon

Slang
Abstaining from alcoholic beverages.
See also: on, wagon
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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