I've Googled for the meaning of 'soak' in Thin Air, but I'm not sure that the most reasonable explanation I found is actually what Richard Morgan meant.

He was young, but there was a gritty rock-face certitude in his Himalayan features that belonged on an altogether older man.
“Where to, soak?”
“TKS Holdings: 11328 Doriot Broadway.”

What does it mean?

  • 3
    I've contacted the author. Hopefully they're willing to let us know. My gut instinct is that it just means 'buddy'.
    – Valorum
    Nov 3, 2019 at 18:22
  • 1
    Asking people for theories is off-topic ('opinion-based'). I'm assuming you want answers based on textual analysis or word-of-god information from the author or his representatives.
    – Valorum
    Nov 3, 2019 at 18:24
  • 1
    Can we have some context for how it’s used (a quote from the book)? Nov 3, 2019 at 21:51
  • @Valorum that didn’t work :P Nov 3, 2019 at 21:53
  • 1
    @Stormblessed - That is merely Round #1. I shall pursue my quarry.
    – Valorum
    Nov 3, 2019 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Soak is a synonym for drunk. Suggesting the character is an alcoholic, I do not know if this makes sense in the context of this story.

Soak a person who makes a habit of getting drunk.

Felt sorry for the town soak, who couldn't hold a job.

  • 2
    This answer doesn't make any sense in the context that it's being used.
    – Valorum
    Nov 4, 2019 at 7:41
  • @Valorum, perhaps it's just a generic label for another person, like snake, partner, buddy, pal, etc. Nov 5, 2019 at 20:42
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    @Ring - Sure, but it makes zero sense in the context that Jontia is talking about. It's used in the books as a general greeting, not an insult. A taxi driver uses it to refer to a paying customer, a hotelier calls a guest this. It's certainly not like calling someone a souse or a rummy.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2019 at 21:07
  • @Valorum, oh, but those terms aren't insults. They're loosely applied general purpose names you could use in addressing almost anyone. Soak probably falls in the same class. Nov 6, 2019 at 14:24
  • @Ring I think you and Valorum are saying the same thing. That Soak, in context, is not meant to be an insulting reference to a problem with alcohol. That said, I'm going to leave it here as it is a general english meaning, and if you're going to reuse words to mean something different you (as an author) should explain that. So hopefully someone will find something that directly contradicts this answer in universe.
    – Jontia
    Nov 6, 2019 at 14:25

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