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What Is A Bottle?

by Mike Reilly, copyright 1997

Last Revised 04/20/2010

Bottle n. 1. receptacle, usually glass, having a narrow neck and a mouth that can be plugged, corked or capped (unlike mother-in-laws) ,or a portable container for holding liquids, characteristically having a neck and mouth and made of glass, or a carafe, vial, phial, decanter, flagon (container). 2. The quantity a bottle contains or the contents or capacity of such a container: a bottle of wine. 3. Bottle filled with milk or formula and fed, as to babies, in place of mothers' milk or bottled cow's milk and milk formulas given to infants, as opposed to mother's milk: raised on the bottle. First appeared as a noun in the fourteenth century. -tr.v. -tled, -tling, -tles. To place in a bottle. -phrasal verb. bottle up. 1. To hold in; restrain: bottled up her emotions, or to repress or restrain: He kept all of his anger bottled up inside him ,or to enclose or entrap: Traffic was bottled up in the tunnel, or box up, coop up, cramp (imprisonment). 2. To seal up; block; or to put into or seal in a bottle: to bottle grape juice. 3. Brit. to can or put up fruit or vegetables. -idiom. hit the bottle. Slang. To drink alcoholic liquor to excess often or habitually. First appeared as a transitional verb in 1600. (Middle English botel < Old French or Middle French. botele, var. of bo(u)teille < Medieval Latin. buticula, dim. of LLat. butis or butti(s), cask) -bot'tler. n.

What Is A Bottle Club?

Not what you may think!

Bottle Club n. A private establishment where patrons may purchase bottles of liquor and keep them for consumption after legal closing hours, or a club serving drinks to members who have reserved or purchased their own bottles of liquor. First appeared in 1943.

Don't you think it's time that the dictionaries were updated with a new definition for bottle club?

How About These !

Bottled in Bond, U.S. (of a straight whiskey or brandy) bottled at 100 proof after aging at least four years and being stored untaxed under government supervision until removed by the manufacturer for market.

Bottle Green, A deep green. -bot'tle-green', adj. First appeared in 1804.

Bottle Party, A party to which guests bring their own liquor (sometimes all liquor brought is poured into a single container and is called "Whoppatoolee", spelling may not be correct).

Nursing Bottle n. A bottle with a rubber nipple used in supplying food to infants.

How many more definition variations can you find and add to this list?


Sources - The Random House College Dictionary, Revised Edition, 1984.

The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, 1985.

The New Roget's Thesaurus - In Dictionary Form, 1978.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

More bottle definitions - added March 7, 1997

Bottle. informal. a. Intoxicating liquor: Don't take to the bottle. b. The practice of drinking large quantities of intoxicating liquor: Her problem is the bottle. Attributive - Often used to modify another noun; bottle soda, a bottle recycling program; a three-bottle man, i.e. who drinks three bottles of wine at a sitting; to pass the bottle of smoke, to give countenance to conventional falsehood, to cant; to bring up on the bottle - an infant reared by means of a feeding-bottle; over a bottle while drinking.

Source - The American Heritage dic-tion-ar-y of the English Language, 1992

From The Oxford English Dictionary, 1933, comes this definition for a bottle - a bundle of hay or straw; to look for a needle in a bottle of hay.

I came across these other bottle terms too.

bottle bill - a legislative bill that requires the charging of a refundable deposit on certain beverage bottles and cans, to encourage the return of these containers for recycling while at the same time reducing littering.

bottle cap - a device for closing or sealing a bottle, esp. a metal cover with a cork gasket fitting tightly over the mouth of a glass or plastic bottle, held in place by crimping the edge of the cap over the lip or flange of the bottle, origin c. 1925-30.

The Oxford English Dictionary, 1933, had many bottle words formed from combining or attributive. I'm listing some of them, followed by a year they were earliest found in literature. Bottle-ale (1597), bottle-beer (1641), bottle-belly (1804), bottle-case, bottle-cider, bottle-conjuror (1755), bottle-cork (1791), bottle-drink (1683), bottle-faucet, bottle-filter, bottle-maker (1483), bottle-rinsing, bottle-room, bottle-stand, bottle-stopper, bottle-works (1695), bottle-bravery (1850), bottle-companion (1711), bottle-friend, bottle-swagger, bottle-talk, bottle-bellied (1820), and bottle-like (1849).

    The above didn't have specific definitions but rather the dictionary provided the phrase or sentence, with reference to author/source, it was found in.

More bottle words from the same source with definitions.

bottle-bearer (1580), one who carries a bottle, a butler.

bottle-boot, a leather case to hold a bottle while corking.

bottle-boy (1857), an apothecary's assistant.

bottle-charger, an apparatus for charging bottles with a liquid under pressure.

bottle-chart, a chart of ocean surface currents compiled from data by means of bottles thrown from ships and subsequently picked up at a distance.

bottle-clay (1679), a clay of which earthenware bottles were made.

bottle-coaster (1801), a stand on which decanters were passed round the table.

bottle-drainer or bottle-rack (1801), a frame in which inverted bottles are placed to drain.

bottle-dropsy (1562), dropsy affecting the abdomen only.

bottle-fish, a fish which can inflate its body so as to resemble a leathern bottle.

bottle-heath (1863), bell-heather (Eric tetralix).

bottle-holder (1753), one who holds a bottle; spec. one who waits on a pugilist; a second, a backer or supporter.

bottle-house (1702), a building in which bottle-glass is made.

bottle-imp (1822), an imaginary imp inhabiting a bottle.

bottle-jack (1869), a jack for roasting meat, shaped like a bottle.

bottle-man (1630), a servant or official who has charge of bottles.

bottle-nest relates to the bottle-tit or bottle-tom, the Long-tailed Tit (Parus caudatus) from the shape of its nest.

bottle-nosed (1568), having a bottle nose, ex. a dolphin or whale.

bottle-track, the track taken in the ocean by a bottle thrown overboard at a given point.

bottle-washer (1865), one who or a machine which washes bottles.

bottle-ore (1756), a kind of sea-weed.

bottle-pear (1601), a kind of pear so called from its shape.

bottle-screw (1702), a corkscrew.

bottle-slider or slide (1785), a tray for a decanter.

bottle-stone, a variety of obsidian.

bottler (1415), 1. a bottle-maker. 2. One who bottles liquor.

bottle-head, a variation of Beetle-Head; a stupid fellow.

bottle-stoop, a block of wood with a groove on the upper surface, so sloped that the contents of a bottle placed upon it may be easily removed with a knife in dispensing.

    Sorry, but I didn't come across any term that would lend itself to defining a bottle collector. How about the Federation [of Bottle Collectors] creating a bottle word dictionary and also come up with a word to define what a bottle collector is? I can see that there would be multiple definitions possible because of hobby related activities. The dictionary could also include all other terms used in glass/bottle making and the hobby, like bottle digger.


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