C is for Cocktail: How to Conjugate “Cocktail” as per F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hey everyone! I’m still busy working on my Assassination Theater review, so I thought I’d post something quick and fun for you all today…

Toasting the cocktails with cocktails. How meta! ;)

Part of the cover for the 1922 edition of “Cocktails: How to Mix Them.”


Lately I’ve been flipping through a book called Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher. This fascinating and handsomely bound book contains a selection of lists about all kinds of things from a variety of famous people—lists which often reveal surprising things about those who write them. My favorites include Marilyn Monroe’s list of “dream lovers,” H.P. Lovecraft’s “Weird Ideas,” Raymond Chandler’s list of “Similies and Comparisons,” Victor Lustig’s “Ten Commandments for Con Men,” and a host of reasons for Ancient Egyptian “Workmen’s Absences” (my favorite excuses: “DRINKING WITH KHONSU” (a moon god) and “SUFFERING WITH HIS EYE”). One of the nicest things about Usher’s book is the layout: it presents each list as they are, with little framing commentary—just enough to give it some context, while letting the list speak for itself. In a way, its more like an art book than anything else.

Among the many lists inside, one in particular stood out to me as being perfect for this blog: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s page of handwritten notes regarding how to use the word “cocktail” as a verb rather than a noun. His little grammatical chart is rather amusing, and also rather appropriate. So, without further ado, here is his list:





Present:   I cocktail, Thou cocktail, It cocktails, We cocktail, You cocktail, They cocktail

Imperfect: I was cocktailing

Perfect (past definite): I cocktailed

Past perfect: I have cocktailed

Conditional: I might have cocktailed

Pluperfect: I had cocktailed

Subjunctive: I would have cocktailed

Voluntary Sub.:  I should have cocktailed

Preterite: I did cocktail

Imperative: Cocktail!

Interrogative: Cocktailest thou? (Dos’t Cocktail?) (or Wilt Cocktail?)

Subjunctive Conditional: I would have had to have cocktailed

Conditional Subjunctive: I might have had to have cocktailed

Participle: Cocktailing


Fitzgerald's original hand-written list for conjugating "cocktail." Photo Source: Open Culture

Fitzgerald’s original hand-written list for conjugating “cocktail.” Photo Source: Open Culture



Want more lists? Try Shaun Usher’s blog, Lists of Note. Many of the lists in his book can also be found on his blog.


About lupachi1927

My name's Megan, and I'm a writer with an interest in history. While I might not be a real historian, I'm a very thorough researcher. This blog is my place to post about all the interesting historical tidbits I find that can't use in the novel I'm working on, which takes place in Chicago in 1927. If you're looking for research help, writing feedback, or just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a line! :)
This entry was posted in book reviews, list post and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to C is for Cocktail: How to Conjugate “Cocktail” as per F. Scott Fitzgerald

  1. jazzfeathers says:

    Well, this is quite weird… and cool 🙂


  2. Pingback: Victor Lustig’s Ten Commandments for Con Men | A Smile And A Gun

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s