November 19, 2003

Teetotaller

I remember as a child, thinking this word was "teatotaller" as in someone who drinks tea, not alcohol. But the actual origin of this word makes it more versatile than that. Born of the Temperance movement, a teetotaller was someone who abstained from alcohol "t-totally."

As with many words, tho exact origin of this one is murky. The amusing part is that it may actually have first been coined as a result of someone stuttering. "t-t-total"

Whatever the exact circumstances, it is acceptable to use the word in non-imbibing contexts. With teetotal confidence. But it sure sounds silly.

Posted by James at November 19, 2003 8:49 AM
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Funny. We were just discussing Prohibition on my email list yesterday, in the context that there's hope that an anti-gay US Constitutional amendment could be repealed.

Granted, when they repealed Prohibition, most of those senators were probably drunk. But maybe in a few years, all of the senators will be gay. Or at least drunk and in a good mood. It could happen.

Posted by: julie at November 19, 2003 9:01 AM

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