2 of 2
2
HD: 1952 Words
Posted: 26 February 2012 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3100
Joined  2007-02-26

A butler was originally the chief servant in charge of wine or other drink, and the title later came to denote the head servant of a household, though his duties still included being in charge of the serving of wine at meals and generally organising mealtime service (the online OED says it comes from late Latin buticula, diminutive of late Latin butis, buttis, vessel, from which also comes butt, cask, and buttery, place where the butts, or casks for wine etc, are kept - in other words the butler gets his name from being in charge of the butts in the buttery.)
---

But surely this was not the meaning in the time that Wodehouse was writing.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 February 2012 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  811
Joined  2007-06-20
OP Tipping - 26 February 2012 07:19 PM

A butler was originally the chief servant in charge of wine or other drink, and the title later came to denote the head servant of a household, though his duties still included being in charge of the serving of wine at meals and generally organising mealtime service (the online OED says it comes from late Latin buticula, diminutive of late Latin butis, buttis, vessel, from which also comes butt, cask, and buttery, place where the butts, or casks for wine etc, are kept - in other words the butler gets his name from being in charge of the butts in the buttery.)
---

But surely this was not the meaning in the time that Wodehouse was writing.

Sorry, I was obviously not clear enough (and got carried away with butts and butteries) - at the time Wodehouse was writing, the post of butler involved basically being the household’s chief of staff, while also being in charge more specifically of the male indoor servants, including the valets, footmen, doormen, porters and so on, with the housekeeper in charge of female servants (maids etc), the cook in charge of the kitchen servants, the head gardner in charge of the gardeners and the head groom in charge of the stables; and as part of his duties, the butler supervised the service at meals, especially at dinner. It was this last duty that Jeeves would be lent out for.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2
 
‹‹ all wet      HD: 1953 Words ››