bottle

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • verb to preserve food by heating it inside a glass jar with a suction cap

Food

  • noun a narrow-necked container for liquids, made of glass or plastic
  • verb to put drink into bottles

Slang

  • verb to hit with a bottle. A widespread brawler’s tactic which seems to have become less widespread since the 1960s.
  • verb to collect money on behalf of a busker or other street entertainer

Travel

  • verb to preserve something by heating it inside a glass jar with a suction cap

Origin & History of “bottle”

Etymologically, a bottle is a small butt, or barrel. The word comes ultimately from medieval Latin butticula, a diminutive form of late Latin buttis ‘cask’ (whence English butt ‘barrel’). It reached English via Old French botele. The 20th-century British colloquial meaning ‘nerve, courage’ comes from rhyming slang bottle and glass ‘class’.

In medieval Latin, a servant who handed wine round at meals and looked after the wine cellar was a buticulārius: hence, via Old French bouteillier and Anglo-Norman buteler, English butler (13th c.).
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