Noun & verb. Middle English.
[Anglo-Norman buteler, Old & modern French bouteillier cup-bearer, from bouteille BOTTLE noun: see -ER.]
A(1) noun. A servant who has charge of a house's or other establishment's wine cellar and plate etc.;
a principal manservant. ME
A(2) noun. Historical. An officer of high rank (nominally) in charge of wine for the royal table. ME
B verb trans. and intrans. Act as a butler to; deal with as a butler. M18
butlerage noun (a) Historical a duty on imported wine payable to the king's butler; (b) the office of butler, a butler's department. L15
butleress noun (rare) a female butler. E17
butlership noun the office of butler. M16
butlery noun a utler's room or pantry; a buttery. ME
Verb trans. & intrans. Jocular. Mid-19th century.
[Back-form from BUTLER.]
Serve out (drinks); do a butler's work.
Well, if you have ever been tempted to be so supercilious, you should think again, as butlers (especially modern butlers) are both in a demanding job and very well compensated for their labours. Those that complete the City & Guild's Butlers Diploma, for example, can expect an entry level salary of £30,000, with the best quickly rising to salaries of £100,000 and above (one of the best paid butlers in the US is rumoured to earn around $1,500,000 per year). Perks include free accommodation, healthcare, a car and international travel. What's more, good butlers are in demand, so if you have the necessary skills and a skin thick enough to be some capricious oligarch's status symbol, you should have no problem finding (and keeping) employment. Not bad for someone that opens bottle (buttles) for a living, eh?
Are you a butler?
Do you have a butler?
Do please buttle your bottles in the comment box below.