I couldn’t find this word for so long I am starting to feel like I am making it up.

When we are asking a friend what they’d like to drink we can say “what’s your choice of poison?” The word I am looking for is a substitute for poison, more in the meaning of bad habit. I think it started with a v or sounded like “virtue” but I am not exactly sure of that (may be something completely different), I think a friend of mine asked me the question a while ago and I loved the usage of the word but can’t remember it. So what would you say to a person “what’s your choice of _____ tonight?” when you’re asking for their preference of alcoholic beverage or drugs?

  • A nip of brandy in my champaigne - it's my one vice. Jun 15, 2020 at 19:51
  • A lot of folks would say "poison", as in "name your poison".
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 15, 2020 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


How about vice, along the lines of the clever comment courtesy of @BitterDreggs. From Lexico:

vice: A weakness of character or behavior; a bad habit.

Your example:

What's you choice of vice tonight? OR What's your vice tonight?

Vice conveys the meaning of "bad habit", begins with "v", and, ironically, sounds a little like "virtue".

  • And as such makes a nice parallel construction, as in "...all our virtues and vices on parade."
    – RobJarvis
    Jun 15, 2020 at 20:34
  • @RobJarvis Sometimes I wonder if I've lost the capacity to distinguish between virtue and vice. Jun 15, 2020 at 20:42
  • @RobJarvis Shouldn't that be "... all our clamps and vices on display"? (And this would of course be in a hardware store.)
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 15, 2020 at 20:52
  • 1
    @HotLicks Isn't the tool a 'vise' in US English? I understood that the bad habit is a 'vice' and the tool a 'vise' whereas in Br English we use 'vice' for both of them. This is similar to the difference in Br English between 'Tyre' and 'tire' whereas US English spell both of them as 'tire'.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 15, 2020 at 22:11

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