One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1British A person who is licensed to sell alcohol.
- ‘And as every ‘victualer’ knows, you will certainly need a nifty name for your tacky tavern besides, ‘Stickey Wicket Pub’, ‘Waddling Dog’ or ‘Toad-in-the-Hole’ (which are already taken).’
- ‘The town's licensed victuallers said most districts had agreed to 10.30 ‘last orders’ especially in tourist areas and it would be a great boost for trippers.’
- ‘As a third generation licensed victualler (now retired) I have been following the saga of the Wheatley Hotel with a mixture of amusement and incredulity.’
- ‘He sells his questions by the dozen to licensed victuallers and is compiling an interactive quiz for the internet and CD-rom.’
- ‘Derek Haworth, former chairman of the licensed victuallers association, said: ‘We already have to pay both council and business tax?’’
- ‘For example, as Wright states, ‘in a peculiar use of gender-neutral language, the legislation consistently refers to ‘he’ or ‘she’ and ‘his’ and ‘her’ when speaking of the licensed victualler’.’
- ‘Part of the building became a licensed premises in 1729 when William Smith, victualler, and his wife Mary, purchased a garden at the rear of their home and erected a brewhouse on the site.’
- ‘Concerted action among the licensed victuallers themselves affords the most reasonable prospect of breaking down the objectionable practice, and many of them at their meeting a week ago showed a willingness to consent.’
- ‘Alongside commercial directories, they allow one to be much more specific about the specialisation of manufacturers and retailers classified as for example victuallers, confectioners, engineers or ironmongers.’
- ‘As early as 1 November 1858 Matthew and Robert Faulkner, who were licenced victuallers and cordial manufacturers in Adelaide, had to appear in the Court of Insolvency.’
- ‘The licensed victuallers recently held their annual banquet, whilst their ‘better halves’ and daughters were left out ‘again’.’
2dated A person providing or selling food or other provisions.
- ‘The profits from these activities provided work for an endless array of builders, carriage-makers, tailors, seamstresses, domestic servants, cab-drivers, and victuallers.’
- ‘He also noted that if the ‘chief victualler and the chief cook got on well the quality was good’.’
- ‘I was delighted with the country victualler terrine that came with two slices of fresh toast and mixed salad leaves.’
- ‘Bakers, victuallers, taverners, hostelers, and sometimes attorneys were disqualified from election as mayor or bailiff in the fifteenth century.’
- ‘The old shop was once a butcher's shop when the Henaghan family were the town's leading victuallers.’
- ‘A GAA county development officer, the former victualler surprised many when leaving the meat trade for a coaching role.’
- ‘Of the remaining half, only three were designated as labourers; the rest were artisans such as bakers, grocers, tailors, and victuallers.’
- ‘He lives by his wits, playing tricks on a niggardly old victualler and other gullible occupants of the camp, and gets whipped for his pains.’
- 2.1 A ship providing supplies for troops or other ships.
- ‘The lines kept getting confused and each time the lighter thought it was freed it turned out to be the ropes of the victualler!’
- ‘It is perhaps a perception of this which led the Crown to reject a constructive proposal from the navy victuallers in 1638.’
Late Middle English: from Old French vitaill(i)er, from vitaille (see victual).
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