One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(at Oxford University) a college account for food and accommodation expenses.
- ‘To cover the cost of this operation, all the undergraduates in college were charged a share of £500 to their battels.’
- ‘The governing body will increase rent by a further 7% in the 2005-2006 academic year, bringing battels up by 36% over the four years.’
- ‘St Peter's College JCR has passed a motion to add £5 to every under-graduate's termly battels bill to be donated to charity.’
- ‘The suggested increases would raise battels by £4 000 for a three year degree, increasing board and lodging costs by 57%.’
- ‘Following the deadline for the payment of battels, the Queens' partial-payment rent strike faced an uncertain future yesterday when college authorities denied non-payers the right to use certain facilities.’
Late 16th century: perhaps from dialect battle ‘nourish’, from the earlier adjective battle ‘nutritious’; probably related to batten.
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