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