Sunday, 18 January 2009


The word “teetotal” was first used in 1833 at a meeting in a English village where one of the founders of the Total Abstinence Society, Mr Richard Turner, was making a speech advocating total abstention from intoxicating drink. Mr Turner, a Preston, Lancashire working man suffered from a stutter.
Passionately pleading his cause, he ended his address by proclaiming that "nothing but t-t-ttotal abstention will do - that or nowt!" His opponents seeing an opportunity for ridiculing both Mr Turner and the movement nicknamed it “t-totalism." However Mr Turner used this to his advantage and in later speeches to emphasize that members were to totally abstain he stressed the first word "T total" or teetotal. Soon the temperance movement as a whole both in Britain and America were adopting the name, possibly also because many total abstainers drank a lot of tea.

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