: one who practices or advocates teetotalism : one who abstains completely from alcoholic drinks
Did You Know?
A person who abstains from alcohol might choose tea as his or her alternative beverage, but the word "teetotaler" has nothing to do with tea. More likely, the "tee" that begins the word "teetotal" is a reduplication of the letter "t" that begins "total," emphasizing that one has pledged total abstinence. In the early 1800s, ''tee-total'' and ''tee-totally'' were used to intensify ''total'' and ''totally'' much the way we now might say, ''I'm tired with a capital T.'' ''I am now … wholly, solely, and teetotally absorbed in Wayne's business,'' wrote the folklorist Parson Weems in an 1807 letter. "Teetotal" and "teetotaler" first appeared with their current meanings in 1834, eight years after the formation of the American Temperance Society.
The couple plans to use sparkling cider, rather than champagne, for the wedding toast because the bride's parents are teetotalers.
"He travels often, but when in Milan, he can be found most Saturday nights at the nightclub Plastic dancing until dawn, although he is a strict teetotaler." - From an article by Derek Blasberg in the Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2013
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