Round of drinks

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A round or Shout of drinks arriving at the table

A round of drinks is a set of alcoholic beverages purchased by one person in a group for that complete group. The purchaser buys the round of drinks as a single order at the bar. In many places it is customary for people to take turns buying rounds.[1][2]

It is a nearly ubiquitous custom in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. In Australia and New Zealand it is referred to as shouting.[3] This practice is also customary in many parts of North America, especially in areas where people with cultural roots in Ireland and the UK predominate. A notable exception was the UK State Management Scheme in which treating (i.e. buying a round) was forbidden, from July 1916 until June 1919.


In John O'Grady's They're a Weird Mob, Nino learns some customs related to shouting.

Your turn.

What is my turn?

Your turn to shout

Why should I shout?

Because I shouted you.

I did not hear you shout at me.

He thought for a while and said, I get it. When you buy a bloke a beer, it's called a shout, see?

Why is that?

I haven't a clue, but that's what it's called. I shouted for you, now it's your turn to shout for me.

I was only a little thirsty. I do not think I wish another drink.

He looked quite stern, In this country, if you want to keep out of trouble, you always return a shout, see?

Is this the custom?

Bloody oath, it's the custom. Your turn.

United States[edit]

In the culture of the United States Military, possession of a challenge coin can be used to determine who buys a round of drinks.[citation needed] One individual of a group lays down their coin, and all else present must lay down their coins as well. Anyone who does not have a coin with them must buy a round. If everyone can produce a coin, the challenger must buy a round.


  1. ^ SIRC
  2. ^ Round Rules
  3. ^ "Shouting". Retrieved 2009-02-26.