hist-brewing: New article: The Economics of Medieval English Brewing

Anders Christensen anders at geekhouse.no
Wed Mar 14 03:18:05 PDT 2007

The Online Etymological Encyclopedia (http://www.etymonline.com)
   1346, originally of leather, from O.Fr. boteille, from L.L. butticula
   dim. of L. buttis "a cask."

So it is basically related to 'a butt'. It is not indicated where it was
used in 1346. The relevant part of OED is: 

   1. a. A vessel with a narrow neck for holding liquids, now usually 
   made of glass; originally of leather.

It lists examples from 1375, 1380, 1436 and 1529. I agree with the
author of the article that Kempe's reference would fit nicely into the
OED. The reference from 1436 is interesting not only because it is
contemporary with Margery Kempe, but because it refers to "botell of
siluer". In addition to leather, metal, and glass, I think Margery's
bottle might also have been made of stoneware, a material which the
Dutch still use for the genever.

Anders Christensen
Trondheim, Norway

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