One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A servant (or a small dog running on a treadmill) whose job was to turn a spit on which meat was roasting.
attendant, retainerView synonyms
- ‘A house might have several turnspits, and each might be required to work the wheel for a number of hours.’
- ‘In a few years’ time, these noble youths would all be knighted and leave the kitchen behind, but the turnspits and the scullions would still be there.’
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