One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An official responsible for collecting excise duty and preventing infringement of the excise laws (especially by smuggling).
- ‘They immediately claim that they are trying to rake cheese - the reflection of the moon - from the pond and the excisemen, amused by the apparently simple-minded rustics, leave them to it.’
- ‘In the late 1820s, the soldiers were used to supplement excisemen in the suppression of whisky smuggling in the district.’
- ‘Nicholas Saunderson's father was an exciseman, meaning that he was a government officer who collected taxes imposed on goods.’
- ‘Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and exciseman from Ayrshire who died in 1796.’
- ‘He had friends and patrons of high rank, despite his radical views, but it was not until 1789 that he obtained in Dumfries the excise appointment he sought, and not until 1791 that he gave up farming to become a full-time exciseman.’
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