BL: butler
Posted: 08 August 2018 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve been watching Upstairs, Downstairs.

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Posted: 08 August 2018 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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But do butlers buttle? Why, yes, they do.

1918 Mrs. H. Ward War & Elizabeth iii The under~housemaid ‘buttles’ for him like a lamb.
1923 F. H. Kitchin Divers. Dawson 292 Nobody could buttle like James who had not been born in a pantry and taken pap out of silver spoons.

That 1918 cite is the earliest in OED which describes the form as a back-formation (jocular) although there is an 1867 cite in the dialectical sense ‘to pour out drink’. And if you guessed that a certain humorist would find the word quite irresistible you’d be right.

918 P. G. Wodehouse Piccadilly Jim xix. 185 How on earth did you come to be here? What’s the idea? Why the buttling?

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Posted: 09 August 2018 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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There’s an older citation for the sense of serving drinks:

1867 B. Brierley Marlocks of Merriton 5 in J. H. Nodal & G. Milnar Gloss. Lancashire Dial. (1875) 60 The broad village green buttled round its cheap delights.

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Posted: 09 August 2018 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m confused.  Your entry makes no mention of any relation to bottle, but AHD says:

[Middle English, from Old French bouteillier, bottle bearer, from bouteille, botele, bottle; see BOTTLE.]

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Posted: 09 August 2018 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, an omission, which I’ll correct.

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Posted: 09 August 2018 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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A little earlier than,

‘There’s an older citation for the sense of serving drinks:  (1867) B. Brierley Marlocks of Merriton’,

is Mrs Beeton (1861).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs_Beeton's_Book_of_Household_Management

Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, also published as Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, is an extensive guide to running a household in Victorian Britain, edited by Isabella Beeton and first published as a book in 1861. It had previously been published in parts. It was originally entitled Beeton’s Book of Household Management, as one of the series of guide-books published by her husband, Samuel Beeton. The recipes were highly structured, in contrast to earlier cookbooks. It was illustrated with many monochrome and colour plates.

The author, Isabella Beeton, was 21 years old when she started working on the book. It was initially serialised in 24 monthly instalments, in her husband Samuel Orchart Beeton’s publication The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine; the first instalment appeared in 1859. On 1 October 1861, the instalments were collected into one volume with the title The Book of Household Management, comprising information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-Maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and Under House-Maids, Lady’s-Maid, Maid-of-all-Work, Laundry-Maid, Nurse and Nurse-Maid, Monthly Wet and Sick Nurses, etc. etc.—also Sanitary, Medical, & Legal Memoranda: with a History of the Origin, Properties, and Uses of all Things Connected with Home Life and Comfort.

PS Specifically, in para. 2163 Beeton lists the duties of a butler, part of which reads:

2163. In addition to these duties, the butler, where only one footman is
kept, will be required to perform some of the duties of the valet, to
pay bills, and superintend the other servants. But the real duties of
the butler are in the wine-cellar; there he should be competent to
advise his master as to the price and quality of the wine to be laid in;
“fine,” bottle, cork, and seal it, and place it in the binns. Brewing,
racking, and bottling malt liquors, belong to his office, as well as
their distribution. These and other drinkables are brought from the
cellar every day by his own hands, except where an under-butler is kept;

and a careful entry of every bottle used, entered in the cellar-book; so
that the book should always show the contents of the cellar.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/10136/10136-8.txt

[ Edited: 10 August 2018 12:09 AM by Skibberoo ]
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Posted: 10 August 2018 04:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A bit of background on the role of the medieval buticularius:

Wine in the Late Roman and Middle Ages was shipped, sold, and stored in wooden barrels. It wasn’t till the invention in the 17th century of (a) the technology to make robust, dark-coloured, cheap glass bottles and (b) the corkscrew, which meant that corks could be driven right into the bottle, that it became possible to ship and store wine in bottles. (This incidentally revolutionised the whole nature of fine wine, as instead of being sold and drunk as soon as possible before it turned into vinegar, it could now be laid down to develop character and nuances of flavour, in a way that hadn’t been possible since the abandonment of the amphora in the 3rd century.)

Thus, the medieval wine bottle had the function of a carafe rather than a storage container. When a lord wanted wine somebody had to go to the cellar where the wine butts were kept, draw some off into a bottle, and serve it to him; it was logical to call that servant the buticularius, bouteiller or bottler.

The buticularius seems to have been responsible for the storage and security of the wine, as well as just the serving of it, from a fairly early date. I wonder whether it was his having charge of the buttery, where the butts of wine were kept, that eventually pulled the vowel sound from O to U?

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Posted: 10 August 2018 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Re: the Beeton quotation. That’s just a use of the noun butler as servant. Even as chief servant, the butler retained the duty of pouring the wine. The 1867 citation is for the jocular verb to buttle, which Beeton does not use.

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Posted: 10 August 2018 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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“These and other drinkables are brought from the cellar every day by his own hands...”

That is obviously not taught at all culinary schools. I have debated waiters and chefs in some restaurants about the meaning of room temperature. They forget which room that wine used to be stored in. Julia Child wrote that the French like most reds at 65° (a reasonable celler temperature). If you think about it, can you think of one liquid you would want to drink at ground-level temperature? I doubt you would, unless it was strictly out of thirst.

Sorry about the diversion, but felt I must for the sake of all wine lovers.

Edited: Thanks, Logophile.

[ Edited: 11 August 2018 01:24 AM by Eyehawk ]
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Posted: 10 August 2018 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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As an avid Batman fan since way back in 1953, my favorite butler is Alfred.  Even the tv show Gotham
has a good actor in the position. Bruce becomes Batman in this years final season episodes starting
this autumn if anyone follow besides me.

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Posted: 10 August 2018 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Sorry about the divertion, but felt I must for the sake of all wine lovers.  Bold emphasis added

Reedit to diversionDivert,diverter, diverted, diverting, diverts, divertible, divertive,divertingly, but no divertion.

Disregard if spelling was intentional.

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Posted: 11 August 2018 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Eyehawk - 10 August 2018 05:36 AM

I have debated waiters and chefs in some restaurants about the meaning of room temperature.

This reminds me of the entry for “warm beer” in The Dictionary of Misinformation, normally a rather humorless book.  The entry reads, IIRC,"It is said that the British drink their beer warm. 
This is not true.  They drink it at room temperature, which no one who has spent any amount of time in Britain is likely to confuse with warm.”

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Posted: 11 August 2018 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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“These and other drinkables are brought from the cellar every day by his own hands...”

That is obviously not taught at all culinary schools. I have debated waiters and chefs in some restaurants about the meaning of room temperature. They forget which room that wine used to be stored in. Julia Child wrote that the French like most reds at 65° (a reasonable celler temperature). If you think about it, can you think of one liquid you would want to drink at ground-level temperature? I doubt you would, unless it was strictly out of thirst.

But a cellar isn’t a room. If a below-ground space is used as a room for human activity (rumpus room, utility room, whatever), it is called a basement, not a cellar. (If anyone asked me how many rooms there were in my house, I’d give the number of above-ground spaces, I might add ‘and a cellar’ but I would not include it in the ‘rooms’, any more than I would include the garden shed.) And if an establishment keeps wine in a back room that is not kept (either naturally or artificially) colder than the rest of the establishment, that room is not a cellar, just a storeroom.

The butler brought the drinks up from the cellar, which was colder than the inhabited parts of the house, and standard procedure with red wines was to do so enough ahead of time for them to come up to room temperature before being drunk. The French for this process is chambrer - a word which would not exist if the cellar was considered a room. I have a cellar - not even a particularly cold one either, it being an 18th-century house with the ground floor three steps above street level and ground-level windows providing a trickle of light to the cellar, but still markedly colder than the dining room directly above - and in winter if we’re having red wine with dinner I always try to remember to bring it up in time for it to chambrer, as drunk cellar-cold it would shrivel your teeth drunk cellar-cold.

What is true is that since the widespread adoption of central heating average room temperature is a whole lot higher than it used to be, and rather warmer than you would want to drink any wine. The entry for ’chambrer‘ at wines.com states that American rooms tend to be between 68 and 72 degrees F, which is warmer than the norm in France - and I strongly suspect the norm in France is snugger again than it used to be when the rules on wine serving were evolved,

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Posted: 11 August 2018 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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According to Oxford Dictionaries, a cellar is a room:

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/cellar

Confirmed by some of the other dictionaries I checked.

[ Edited: 11 August 2018 07:37 AM by Eyehawk ]
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Posted: 11 August 2018 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The definition of room and whether or not a cellar is one is irrelevant. The term in question is room temperature, which the OED defines as “the temperature of a (or the) room, esp. that which is comfortable for occupants, conventionally taken as about 20°C” [68°F] (OED, room, n.1 and int., Nov 2010).

American Heritage Dictionary defines it as: “An indoor temperature around 20 or 22°C (68 to 72°F).”

Merriam-Webster is less specific: “a comfortable temperature that is not too hot or too cold.”

The dictionaries don’t have a definition for cellar temperature, but a quick look at some wine websites indicates that 55°F (12°C) is the preferred temperature for storing wine. (The ranges of acceptable temperature on the websites vary, but most center on this one.)

[ Edited: 11 August 2018 07:46 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 12 August 2018 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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There isn’t really a conventional room temperature. I would think age and activity would be the main determinants. I adjust the temperature daily at my house depending on what I’m doing. Quora set a higher temperature than the OED as their standard also, which is much closer to what this old guy likes.

https://www.quora.com/How-was-72-degrees-established-as-a-normal-room-temperature

As to acceptable temperatures for wine storage, that would depend upon when one is going to serve it. If you are talking about long-term storage, 55° is fine, and getting the wine out of storage would take place at a known period of time ahead of the serving time. If you plan on taking it out of your wine refrigerator and drinking it right away, then I will follow the French and Julia’s standard of 65° (I imagine that is close to what restaurants that know about wine keep their wines at). But in actuality, your “standard” is whatever you are comfortable with.

[ Edited: 12 August 2018 05:32 AM by Eyehawk ]
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