mid-15c., "lax, flaccid, soft, tender," from Old French lasche "soft, succulent," from laschier "loosen," from Late Latin laxicare "become shaky," related to Latin laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose" (see lax). Sense of "luxuriant in growth" is first attested c.1600, in Shakespeare. Applied to colors since 1744. Related: Lushly; lushness.
"drunkard," 1890, from earlier (1790) slang meaning "liquor" (especially in phrase lush ken "alehouse"); perhaps a humorous use of lush (adj.) or from Romany or Shelta (tinkers' jargon).
LUSHEY. Drunk. The rolling kiddeys had a spree, and got bloody lushey; the dashing lads went on a party of pleasure, and got very drunk. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
A drunkard; an alcoholic; dipso: She is still plastered, the little lush/ The father was by no means a lush, but the son carried temperance to an extreme (1890+)
: lushing, stowing wine into our faces
[origin unknown; probably related to lush, ''liquor, booze,'' which is found by 1790 and may be fr Romany or Sehlta (tinkers' jargon)]