"And the question of wet versus dry, of course, is one on which indecision is no longer acceptable"
Edward Heath (a wet) in 1987
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEdward Heath (a wet) in 1987 - Credit: Allan warren
Michael Howard (a dry) in 2010
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMichael Howard (a dry) in 2010 - Credit: altogetherfool

During the 1980s, individuals within the Conservative party who opposed Margaret Thatcher's more hard-line policies became known as wets. In public school slang, a wet was someone who was weak, feeble, or overly sentimental.

Consequently those who supported Thatcher's ideology became known as dries.

Well-known members of the wet camp included Edward Heath, Douglas Hurd and Norman St. John-Stevas; well-known members of the dry camp included Nigel Lawson, Norman Tebbit and Michael Howard.