One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person employed to wash bottles.
2Humorous. A person who performs routine, sometimes menial, tasks; a factotum. Chiefly in "chief (or head) cook and bottle-washer": a person who is responsible for a large number of both trivial and important tasks.
3A utensil or machine for washing bottles.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in New York Herald. From bottle + washer.
bottle washer/ˈbɒtl ˌwɒʃə/
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