Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who attends a pugilist in a prizefight.
  • n. One who assists or supports another in a contest; a backer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who attends a pugilist in a prize fight; -- so called from the bottle of water of which he has charge.
  • n. One who assists or supports another in a contest; an abettor; a backer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A glassmaker's tool for holding the body of a bottle while forming the neck.
  • n. A rack for holding bottles.
  • n. One who waits upon another in a prize-fight, administering refreshment, etc.; hence, a backer; a second; a supporter, encourager, or adviser in a conflict or trial of any kind.

Etymologies

bottle +‎ holder, from the bottle of water they provided to the fighter. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Miss Ashton, was the new Laird of Girnington, and his faithful squire and bottleholder, personages formerly well known to us by the names of Hayston and Bucklaw, and his companion Captain Craigengelt.

    The Bride of Lammermoor

  • In fact it is a thing never permitted by the people, who make it a universal rule to show fair play in all cases of quarrel, be the parties who they may; so that if a battle takes place between an Englishman, and even a Frenchman, the latter is as secure of justice, and of his second, and of his bottleholder too, if necessary, as if he were a true-born Englishman.

    The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 6, June 1810

  • ” But Figs, all whose limbs were in a quiver, and whose nostrils were breathing rage, put his little bottleholder aside, and went in for a fourth time.

    V. Dobbin of Ours

  • However, whatever you are going to do I am sure you will speak honestly and well, and I shall come and be assistant bottleholder.

    The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley

  • Vanity acts as his second and bottleholder in the world's prize-ring, and it fights him well, bringing him smilingly up to time after the fiercest knock-down blows.

    Dreamthorp A Book of Essays Written in the Country

  • Miss Ashton, was the new Laird of Girnington, and his faithful squire and bottleholder, personages formerly well known to us by the names of

    The Bride of Lammermoor

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