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'teetotaler' - is it religious?

Posted by Scott Marsden on November 14, 2000

In Reply to: 'teetotaler' - is it religious? posted by Bob on November 11, 2000

: : I dont drink alcohol. I am also an atheist.
: : I have considered referring to myself as a
: : teetotaler, but I am not sure wether or not
: : the word implies religiousness. does it?
: : what is the origin of the word, in any case?

: : thank you very much

: No, the word's not religious, but some people seem to be abstainers with religious zeal. The word was coined in 1833, and is a coinage meant to intensify the word "total."

As well, many people erroneously associate the "T" in teetotal with "tea" (as in, the person drinks tea instead of booze.) But the above reason is correct. It's to emphasize a "total" abstinece from alcohol. Tee-total is like saying "total, with a capital T!"