Why is Called “Teetotal”? (Meaning and Dry History Explained)

Have you ever been to a party and noticed that one person who seems to exist solely to make the rest of the crowd feel better about their life choices? You know, the one who turns down every offer of a drink with a polite, “No, thank you, I’m teetotal.”

Well, it turns out that the origin of the word “teetotal” is just as bland as the people who wear it as a badge of honor. But first…

What is a “Teetotaler”?

A teetotaler is a person who abstains from consuming alcohol in all its devilishly delightful forms. This means they’ve waved goodbye to the likes of beer, wine, and spirits in favor of more tepid beverages, like water, fruit juice, or herbal tea.

It’s a lifestyle choice that requires an iron will, a love for clear-headed mornings, and the ability to withstand endless mockery from friends who don’t understand the appeal of a party without a single drop of booze.

What Do Teetotalers Drink?

  • Water (still or sparkling)
  • Fruit juice
  • Herbal tea
  • Soda
  • Non-alcoholic beer (NA beer)
  • Non-alcoholic wine (NA wine)
  • Mocktails
  • Coffee and tea (caffeine alert)

What Don’t Teetotalers Drink?

  • Alcoholic beer
  • Alcoholic wine
  • Alcoholic spirits
  • Alcoholic cocktails
  • Liqueur-filled chocolates
  • Mouthwash with alcohol content
  • Alcohol-infused desserts
  • Alcoholic cooking ingredients

Teetotal Origin: The Exciting Tale of Richard Turner

Once upon a time, in 1833, a man named Richard Turner stood up in a meeting of the Preston Temperance Society in Lancashire, England. The society was dedicated to promoting a life of sobriety, but Turner believed they didn’t go far enough. He argued that the only true path to a life of wild excitement was total abstinence from alcohol. And that’s where the term “teetotal” was born.

Turner, who was apparently known for his stutter, proclaimed, “I’ll be reet down out-and-out t-t-total for ever and ever.” In this exhilarating story, Turner was really just repeating the ‘t’ in “total,” but the term “teetotal” stuck, forever branding those who abstain from alcohol with a reminder of this man’s verbal quirk.

Proudly Boring and Healthy

As much as we’d like to poke fun at teetotalers for being less fun than their alcohol-drinking counterparts, it’s hard to deny that they lead longer, healthier lives. It’s almost as if their decision to avoid alcohol has some kind of magical health benefit that, ironically, makes them less likely to be the life of the party. But who wants to be remembered for being healthy and responsible anyway?

A Toast to Teetotalers

So, the next time you’re at a social gathering and you see someone proudly declaring their teetotal lifestyle, raise a glass of your alcoholic beverage and toast to their decision to live life on the wild side of sobriety. While you’re at it, raise another glass in honor of Richard Turner, whose stutter led to the creation of a term that will forever define those who choose to abstain from the devil’s nectar.

Why is Teetotal Called “Teetotal”: The Dry Truth

The word “teetotal” was born out of a stutter and a desire to live a life free from the influence of alcohol. And while teetotalers might not be the life of the party, they do enjoy the perks of a healthier, longer life. So, let’s raise a glass of non-alcoholic wine to those brave souls who embrace the un-intoxicating lifestyle of teetotalism. Cheers to their enduring and unremarkable sobriety!

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