The English term “butler” derives from which of the following:

A. A large haunch of roasted meat (known in old English as a “butt”) which the head servant in a wealthy household would carry ceremoniously into the dining room

B. The servant in a wealthy household who oversaw the money spent on provisions such as butter, eggs, meat, and so on

C. The servant in a wealthy household who was in charge of transferring wine from casks into bottles

D. A special, fabric-lined cabinet (known as the “butt”) where silver wine coasters and other fine pieces of silver were stored and to which only the lead servant had a key


The word “butler” is thought to have derived from the term “bottler.” From the Middle Ages through the mid-eighteenth century, the English upper classes bought wine in barrels and then transferred it into bottles that sometimes carried a family seal, crest, or other private marking. In a significantly large and wealthy household, it was one of the head servant’s tasks to monitor the wine cellar, filling glass bottles as needed for the dining room. Thus the “bottler” from the Old French bouteillier “bottle bearer” became, in time, the “butler”.

Get WineSpeed

Join tens of thousands of other wine lovers. Get each week’s edition of WineSpeed delivered to your inbox every Friday. It’s fast. It’s free. It’s the smartest way to stay up to speed on wine.
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Be sure to check your inbox to confim your subscription.