What Does the Term “Teetotaller” Mean and Where Did the Word For Someone Who Doesn’t Drink Come From?

An 1846 tombstone in Preston, England, has the inscription,

“Beneath this stone are deposited the remains of Richard Turner, author of the word ‘TeeTotal.'”

Turner emphasized the “T” to stress the first letter in total.

Another group filled out pledges with a letter after their signature to reflect their positions:

“M” for moderation, “A” for abstinence, and “T” for total abstinence.

Someone who doesn’t drink alcohol is called a “teetotaller”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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