born in a bottle

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New member
Oct 20, 2007
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Dear Friends,
Reading Sean O'Casey's play The Shadow of a Gunman, I came across a phrase, most likely an idiom, "born in a bottle", which I don't quite understand. I just tried to guess the meaning from the context, but I was far from satisfied - drunkards? But this seems to be too straightforward an explanation. Can you help me? Thank you in advance.
Here is the context:
GRIGSON: ...But here, Mr Davoren, have a drink, just to show there's no coolness.
DAVOREN: No, Mr Grigson, it's late now to take anything. ...
GRIGSON: Sure you won't have a drink?
DAVOREN: Quite sure - thanks all the same.
GRIGSON (drinking): Here's the first today! To all true men, even if they were born in a bottle. Here is to King William, to the battle of the Boyne, to the Hobah Black Chapter, ... and to the Orange Lily O ...
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Key Member
Mar 27, 2006
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English Teacher
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United States
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I'm not sure, but I think they might be making refererence to people who get "relaxed" and "frisky" after drinking spirits and then let their hormones take over. Most times, they don't use protection. A baby born of such a union is often referred to as being "born out of a bottle on a Saturday night."
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