Teetotalism

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The Drunkard's Progress, a lithograph by Nathaniel Currier supporting the temperance movement (January 1846) The Drunkard's Progress - Color.jpg
The Drunkard's Progress, a lithograph by Nathaniel Currier supporting the temperance movement (January 1846)
An allegorical map on temperance, accompanied by a lengthy poem. The "Religion Channel" was a strong current away from "Misery Regions" and the "Reprobate Empire," 1846 William Meacham Murrell, Map on Temperance, 1846 Cornell CUL PJM 1052 01.jpg
An allegorical map on temperance, accompanied by a lengthy poem. The "Religion Channel" was a strong current away from "Misery Regions" and the "Reprobate Empire," 1846

Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of complete personal abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler (plural teetotalers) or is simply said to be teetotal. The teetotalism movement was first started in Preston, England, in the early 19th century. [1] The Preston Temperance Society was founded in 1833 by Joseph Livesey, who was to become a leader of the temperance movement and the author of The Pledge: "We agree to abstain from all liquors of an intoxicating quality whether ale, porter, wine or ardent spirits, except as medicine." [2]

Abstinence self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities

Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure. Most frequently, the term refers to sexual abstinence, or abstinence from alcohol, drugs, or food.

Preston, Lancashire city and the administrative centre of Lancashire, England

Preston is a city and the administrative centre of Lancashire, England, on the north bank of the River Ribble.

Joseph Livesey British activist

Joseph William Livesey was an English temperance campaigner, social reformer, local politician, writer, publisher, newspaper proprietor and philanthropist.

Contents

Etymology

There is some dispute over the origin of the word "teetotaler." One anecdote attributes the origin of the word to a meeting of the Preston Temperance Society in 1833. The story attributes the word to Richard Turner, [2] a member of the society, who in a speech said "I'll be reet down out-and-out t-t-total for ever and ever." [3] Walter William Skeat noted that the Turner anecdote had been recorded by temperance advocate Joseph Livesey, and posited that the term may have been inspired by the teetotum; [4] however, James B. Greenough stated that "nobody ever thought teetotum and teetotaler were etymologically connected." [5]

Walter William Skeat British etymologist

Walter William Skeat, FBA, was the pre-eminent British philologist of his time. He was instrumental in developing the English language as a higher education subject in the United Kingdom.

A teetotum is a form of gambling spinning top. It has a polygonal body marked with letters or numbers, which indicate the result of each spin.

James Bradstreet Greenough was a classical scholar.

A variation on the above account is found on the pages of The Charleston Observer:

An alternative explanation is that teetotal is simply a reduplication of the first "T" in total (T-total). It is said that as early as 1827 in some Temperance Societies signing a "T" after one's name signified one's pledge for total abstinence. [7] In England in the 1830s, when the word first entered the lexicon, it was also used in other contexts as an emphasized form of total; a comparable American English locution would be "total with a capital T" (an instance of the "[word] with a capital [word-initial letter]" snowclone).

Reduplication in linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change.

American English set of dialects of the English language spoken in the US

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.

A snowclone is a cliché and phrasal template that can be used and recognized in multiple variants. The term was coined as a neologism in 2004, derived from journalistic clichés that referred to the number of Eskimo words for snow.

According to historian Daniel Walker Howe (What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 2007) the term was derived from the practice of American preacher and temperance advocate Lyman Beecher. He would take names at his meetings of people who pledged alcoholic temperance and noted those who pledged total abstinence with a T. Such persons became known as Teetotallers.

Lyman Beecher American Presbyterian minister and American Temperance Society co-founder

Lyman Beecher was a Presbyterian minister, American Temperance Society co-founder and leader, and the father of 13 children, many of whom became noted figures, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, Edward Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Catharine Beecher and Thomas K. Beecher.

Reasons and justifications

Some common reasons for choosing teetotalism are psychological, religious, health, [8] medical, familial, philosophical, social, past alcoholism, or sometimes it is simply a matter of taste or preference. When at drinking establishments, teetotalers (or teetotallers) either abstain from drinking completely, or consume non-alcoholic beverages such as water, juice, tea, coffee, non-alcoholic soft drinks, virgin drinks, mocktails, and alcohol-free beer.

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This definition has been subject to controversy, as it may have limited value for implementation. Health may be defined as the ability to adapt and manage physical, mental and social challenges throughout life.

Family group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence

In the context of human society, a family is a group of people related either by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence or some combination of these. Members of the immediate family may include spouses, parents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Members of the extended family may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and siblings-in-law. Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual's specific relationship with them.

Alcoholism broad term for problems with alcohol

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in mental or physical health problems. The disorder was previously divided into two types: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. In a medical context, alcoholism is said to exist when two or more of the following conditions are present: a person drinks large amounts over a long time period, has difficulty cutting down, acquiring and drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of time, alcohol is strongly desired, usage results in not fulfilling responsibilities, usage results in social problems, usage results in health problems, usage results in risky situations, withdrawal occurs when stopping, and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use. Risky situations include drinking and driving or having unsafe sex, among other things. Alcohol use can affect all parts of the body, but it particularly affects the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune system. This can result in mental illness, Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, irregular heartbeat, liver cirrhosis and increased cancer risk, among other diseases. Drinking during pregnancy can cause damage to the baby resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Women are generally more sensitive than men to the harmful physical and mental effects of alcohol.

Most[ citation needed ] teetotaler organizations also demand from their members that they do not promote or produce alcoholic intoxicants.

Organized religion

Abstention from alcohol is a tenet of a number of religious faiths, including Hinduism, such as the Swaminarayans; Sikhism; Bahá'ís; Jains; and Meivazhi-ites.

"Khamr" is the term for all intoxicants which are prohibited in Islam. (See Religion and alcohol § Islam) Drinking intoxicants is a crime according to Islamic criminal law, and the offender should be whipped.

Similarly, one of the five precepts of Buddhism is abstaining from intoxicating substances that disturb the peace and self-control of the mind, but it is formulated as a training rule to be assumed voluntarily rather than as a commandment.

A number of Christian denominations also forbid the consumption of alcohol, including the Amish, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites (both Old Order and Conservative), Church of the Brethren members, and Christian Scientists. Many Christian groups, such as Methodists, Mormons, and Quakers, are often associated with teetotalism due to their traditionally strong support for temperance movements and prohibition. However, tenets forbidding the consumption of alcohol are variably practiced. For example, Church of the Nazarene, an offshoot of Methodism does teach abstinence from alcohol. [9] In many Christian denominations, abstinence is not a religious requirement, but the tradition is strong enough to make ritual and recreational alcohol consumption a controversial issue among members. Members of the Salvation Army make a promise on joining the movement to observe lifelong abstinence from alcohol. The Catholic Church, Orthodox churches, and Anglicanism all require wine in their central religious rite of the eucharist, and while many Protestant churches often allow grape juice or alcohol-free wine in their communion services, only a few Protestants require a non-alcoholic beverage as official policy. (See Christianity and alcohol.)

Many members of these religious groups are also required to refrain from selling such products. A translation of the New Testament, the Purified Translation of the Bible, translates in a way that promotes teetotalism.

Research on non-drinkers

Dominic Conroy and Richard de Visser published research in Psychology and Health which studied strategies used by college students who would like to resist peer pressure to drink alcohol in social settings. The research hinted that students are less likely to give in to peer pressure if they have strong friendships and make a decision not to drink before social interactions. [10]

Caroline H. McClave published a comparison of three studies entitled Asexuality as a Spectrum: A National Probability Sample Comparison to the Sexual Community in the UK [11] which found that asexuals and gray-asexuals drank significantly less and were more likely to abstain from drinking than the people not of those sexual orientations.

A 2015 study by the Office for National Statistics showed that young Britons were more likely to be teetotalers than their parents. [12]

In one study, increased teetotalism within a family was associated with a lower level of alcoholism and vice versa. This suggests there is an inverse relationship between teetotalism and alcoholism. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Prohibition the outlawing of the consumption, sale, production etc. of alcohol

Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacture, storage, transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The word is also used to refer to a period of time during which such bans are enforced.

Temperance movement 19th- and 20th-century global social movement

The temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Participants in the movement typically criticize alcohol intoxication or promote complete abstinence (teetotalism), with leaders emphasizing alcohol's negative effects on health, personality, and family life. Typically the movement promotes alcohol education as well as demands new laws against the selling of alcohols, or those regulating the availability of alcohol, or those completely prohibiting it. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the temperance movement became prominent in many countries, particularly English-speaking and Scandinavian ones, and it led to Prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933.

Womans Christian Temperance Union international temperance organization

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is an active international temperance organization that was among the first organizations of women devoted to social reform with a program that "linked the religious and the secular through concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied Christianity." It was influential in the temperance movement, and supported the 18th Amendment.

Independent Order of Rechabites

The Independent Order of Rechabites (IOR), also known as the Sons and Daughters of Rechab, is a fraternal organisation and friendly society founded in England in 1835 as part of the wider temperance movement to promote total abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Always well connected in upper society and involved in financial matters, it gradually transformed into a financial institution which still exists, and still promotes abstinence. The Order has been active in Australia from 1843, promoting temperance and as a benefit society. A branch was established in the United States in 1842, and also flourished for a time.

Washingtonian movement

The Washingtonian movement was a 19th-century temperance fellowship founded on April 2, 1840 by six alcoholics at Chase's Tavern on Liberty Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The idea was that by relying on each other, sharing their alcoholic experiences and creating an atmosphere of conviviality, they could keep each other sober. Total abstinence from alcohol (teetotalism) was their goal. The group taught sobriety and preceded Alcoholics Anonymous by almost a century. Members sought out other "drunkards", told them their experiences with alcohol abuse and how the Society had helped them achieve sobriety. With the passage of time the Society became a prohibitionist organization in that it promoted the legal and mandatory prohibition of alcoholic beverages. The Society was the inspiration for Timothy Shay Arthur's Six Nights with the Washingtonians and his Ten Nights in a Bar-Room.

The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart (PTAA) is an international organisation for Roman Catholic teetotallers that is based in Ireland. Its members are commonly called Pioneers. While the PTAA does not advocate prohibition, it does require of its members complete abstinence from alcoholic drink. It also encourages devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as an aid to resisting the temptation of alcohol. Pioneers wear a lapel pin called a Pioneer pin with an image of the Sacred Heart, both to advertise the organisation and to alert others not to offer them alcohol. The association publishes a monthly magazine, The Pioneer.

Hope UK charity

Hope UK is a United Kingdom Christian charity based in London, England which educates children and young people about drug and alcohol abuse. It was founded in 1855 as the Band of Hope.

The Coalition for the Prevention of Alcohol Problems is a Washington D.C.-based coalition of 24 public health and consumer groups co-chaired by George Hacker of the Alcohol Policies Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Stacia Murphy of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

The Lincoln–Lee Legion was established by Anti-Saloon League-founder Howard Hyde Russell in 1903 to promote the signing of abstinence pledges by children. The organization was originally called the Lincoln League, named after Abraham Lincoln. However, in 1912 it was renamed the Lincoln–Lee Legion, adding a reference to Robert E. Lee in order to make it more appealing to southern children and their parents.

United Kingdom Alliance

The United Kingdom Alliance was a temperance movement in the United Kingdom founded in 1853 in Manchester to work for the prohibition of the trade in alcohol in the United Kingdom. This occurred in a context of support for the type of law passed by General Neal Dow in Maine, United States, in 1851, prohibiting the sale of intoxicants.

Christian views on alcohol

Christian views on alcohol are varied. Throughout the first 1,800 years of Church history, Christians generally consumed alcoholic beverages as a common part of everyday life and used "the fruit of the vine" in their central rite—the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. They held that both the Bible and Christian tradition taught that alcohol is a gift from God that makes life more joyous, but that over-indulgence leading to drunkenness is sinful or at least a vice.

Temperance bar

A temperance bar is a type of bar that does not serve alcoholic beverages.

Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America

The Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America was a Roman Catholic temperance organization active in the 19th and 20th centuries. The work of Father Mathew in promoting temperance across the U.S. led to the establishment of numerous separate and independent Catholic temperance groups. The Catholic temperance societies of Connecticut created a state union in 1871, from which a national union was formed the following year at a convention in Baltimore, Maryland. 177 such societies from 10 states and the District of Columbia, representing a total of 26,481 members, created the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America. In total, over 500,000 Roman Catholics made the temperance of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America.

Religion and alcohol

The world's religions have had differing relationships with alcohol. Many religions forbid alcoholic consumption or see it as sinful or negative. Others have allocated a specific place for it, such as in the Christian practice of using wine during the Eucharist rite.

Temperance movement in the United States

The Temperance movement in the United States is a movement to curb the consumption of alcohol. It had a large influence on American politics and society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, there are organizations that continue to promote the cause of temperance.

Temperance movement in the United Kingdom

The Temperance movement in the United Kingdom originated as a mass movement in the 19th century. Before this, though there were diatribes published against drunkenness and excess, total abstinence from alcohol was very rarely advocated or practised. The earliest temperance societies, inspired by the Belfast professor of theology, and Presbyterian Church of Ireland minister John Edgar, who poured his stock of whiskey out of his window in 1829, concentrated their efforts on spirits rather than wine and beer. Joseph Livesey was another British temperance advocate who financed his philanthropic work with the profits attained from cheese production, following an introduction to the food product by a doctor he had consulted with regards to a serious ailment in 1816. The term teetotal is derived from a speech by Richard (Dickie) Turner, a follower of Livesey, in Preston in 1833. Livesey opened the first temperance hotel in 1833 and the next year founded the first temperance magazine, The Preston Temperance Advocate (1834–37). The British Association for the Promotion of Temperance was established by 1835.

Temperance movement in Ireland

The Temperance movement in Ireland was an influential movement dedicated to lowering consumption of alcohol that involved both Protestant and Catholic religious leaders.

Catholic temperance movement

Catholic involvement in the temperance movement has been very strong since at least the nineteenth century with a number of specifically Roman Catholic societies formed to encourage moderation or total abstinence from alcohol.

References

  1. Road to Zion - British Isles, BYU-TV; "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2011-02-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. 1 2 Gately, Iain (May 2009). Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. New York: Gotham Books. p. 248. ISBN   978-1-592-40464-3.
  3. Quinion, Michael. "Teetotal". worldwidewords.org. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  4. An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, by Walter William Skeat; published by Clarendon Press, 1893
  5. Words and Their Ways, by James B. Greenough; published 1902
  6. The Charleston Observer vol. 10, no. 44 (29 October 1836): 174, columns 4-5.
  7. "Online Etymology Dictionary - T, page 5" . Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  8. "6 great things that happen to your body when you give up drinking". 20 January 2016.
  9. "2017-2021 Manual". Church of the Nazarene. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  10. Conroy, Dominic; de Visser, Richard. "Being a non-drinking student: An interpretative phenomenological analysis". Psychology and Health. 29 (5): 536–551. doi:10.1080/08870446.2013.866673. ISSN   0887-0446.
  11. Asexuality as a Spectrum: A National Probability Sample Comparison to the Sexual Community in the UK
  12. Neville, Sarah (February 13, 2015). "Young Britons turning teetotal in growing numbers, survey says". Financial Times. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  13. "PsycNET". psycnet.apa.org. Retrieved 2017-12-10.