Teetotaler

“Veteran drudge” of The Baltimore Sun newspaper, John E. McIntyre, recently blogged a list of slang words for being drunk:

schnockered
shellacked
snozzled
soused

Lots of S words, apparently.

But what about slang for the opposite end of the imbibing spectrum?

teetotalism: the principal or practice of complete abstinence from alcoholic drinks
—Merriam-Webster

teetotaler: one who practices or advocates teetotalism
—Merriam-Webster

It’s a common mistake to think that teetotaler has to do with tea—as if one who does not consume alcohol hits up the teakettle instead. Actually, this term dates to the age of temperance societies (groups that pushed for mandatory abstinence from alcohol), with its first citation being in 1834.

As explained in the Online Etymology Dictionary, it is thought that teetotaler comes from the word totally. The tee in the front of the word is the sound of the letter T and was added for emphasis—as if to mean extra totally or totally totally.

Example: That teetotaler is extra totally BO-RING.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Teetotaler

  1. Clean and sober 10 years, 10 months. Other drunk terms:
    wazzooed
    crippled
    looped
    creamed
    toasted
    bombed
    smashed
    bashed
    gassed
    crocked
    pickled
    looped
    Jacked
    high
    pumped
    tight
    mellow
    tipsy
    Similes such as drunk as a frog, not listed as terms unlimited and usually contain foul language which I do not use on my blog or in comments on others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s