Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thomas's Nickname Explained

trencherman \TREN-chuhr-muhn\, noun:
A hearty eater.

A living rebuke to the surgeon general and the diet doctors, Eddie "Bozo" Miller was once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "world's greatest trencherman." Mr. Miller, who died Jan. 7 at age 89, managed to outfox the actuaries even while consuming quantities of food and drink that might have put Diamond Jim Brady to shame. He once won a contest in Idaho Falls, Idaho, by eating 30 pounds of elk and moose meatloaf. He boasted of downing 25 bowls of minestrone and 30 pounds of shrimp, and drinking a whole bottle of gin in a single chug on a bet, then offering to buy the loser a drink.
-- Stephen Miller, "'World's Greatest Trencherman' Ate His Way Into the Guinness Book of World Records", Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2008

Trencherman is from trencher, "a wooden board or platter on which food is served or carved" (from Medieval French trencheoir, from Old French trenchier, "to cut," from Latin truncare, "to lop off, to shorten by cutting") + man. It is related to trench, "a hole cut into the ground."

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