see pink elephants

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see pink elephants

To hallucinate or see things incorrectly due to acute alcohol intoxication or withdrawal. The phrase became especially popularized by the 1941 Disney animated film Dumbo, in which the title character accidentally becomes drunk and sees a parade of pink elephant hallucinations. My dad said that he saw pink elephants for a while after he gave up drinking. When I started seeing pink elephants, I knew I had to stop drinking so much.
See also: elephant, pink, see
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

seeing pink elephants

 and seeing pink spiders; Seeing snakes
intoxicated; recovering from a drinking bout; having the delirium tremens. When I got to the point of seeing pink elephants, I knew that something had to be done. The old one who's shakinghe's probably seeing snakes.
See also: elephant, pink, seeing
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

see pink ˈelephants

(informal) see things that are not really there, because you are drunk
See also: elephant, pink, see
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

seeing pink elephants

and seeing pink spiders and seeing snakes
tv. alcohol intoxicated; recovering from a drinking bout; having the delirium tremens. When I got to the point of seeing pink elephants, I knew that something had to be done. He’s screaming something about seeing pink spiders, and he wants a drink.
See also: elephant, pink, seeing
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A scene where Dumbo sees pink elephants, a euphemism for a drunken hallucination, is very tastefully reimagined by Burton.