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tem•per•ance(ˈtɛm pər əns, ˈtɛm prəns)
Temperanceof cooks: a company of cooks—Bk. of St. Albans, 1486.
on the wagon Abstaining from alcoholic beverages; said of a teetotaler or nephalist. This expression is a truncated version of the earlier and more explicit on the water-wagon.
The water-wagon is the place for me;
It is no time for mirth and laughter,
The cold, gray dawn of the morning after!
(George Ade, Remorse, 1902)
Antithetically, off the wagon implies the resumption of alcoholic indulgence after a period of abstinence.
Like the bartenders, they fell off the wagon. (A. J. Liebling, “Yea, Verily,”in The New Yorker, September 27, 1952)
teetotal To abstain totally from alcoholic beverages; as an adjective, advocating total abstinence from intoxicating drink. This word is formed by a reduplication of the initial sound of total. It was purportedly coined by Richard Turner (1790-1846) in a speech delivered in England in September, 1833, advocating total abstinence from liquor. Accounts differ as to whether teetotal was intentional as Turner claimed, or the result of a speech defect which caused Turner to stutter, “N-n-nothing but t-t-t-total abstinence will do.” At any rate, John Livesey, a member of the audience and founder of the Total Abstinence Society, credits the word to Turner in his Autobiography (1867), and Turner’s gravestone epitaph reads in part: “Richard Turner, author of the word Teetotal as applied to abstinence from all intoxicating liquors.” Furthermore, a full-page advertisement in the April, 1836, issue of Preston’s Temperance Advocate also credits “Dicky Turner”as the originator of teetotal.
Rev. Joel Jewell, secretary of a temperance society in Lansing, New York, claimed that members of his organization coined the word in 1827 when they handed out pledge cards upon which were printed “O.P.” (Old Pledge—partial abstinence) or “T.” (Total abstinence), encouraging people to sign the latter by crying out “T—total! T—total!”
Although both England and the United States claim credit for the word, it is possible that teetotal developed independently in the two countries. It has since enjoyed extensive and frequent use.
Much stress has been laid by the teetotal advocates on the paramount influence of parental intemperance on the procreation of a mentally deficient progeny. (Thomas Allbutt, A System of Medicine, 1899)
One who abstains from alcoholic consumption is often called a teetotaler.
|Noun||1.||temperance - the trait of avoiding excesses |
natural virtue - (scholasticism) one of the four virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) derived from nature
restraint, control - discipline in personal and social activities; "he was a model of polite restraint"; "she never lost control of herself"
abstemiousness - moderation in eating and drinking
intemperance - the quality of being intemperate
|2.||temperance - abstaining from excess|
abstinence - act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite
|3.||temperance - the act of tempering|
moderation excess, intemperance, overindulgence, prodigality, immoderation
"Temperance is the greatest of all the virtues" [Plutarch Moralia]