American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Chiefly British A boy or man who works in an inn or a public house serving customers and doing chores.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A boy or young man who has the charge of beer-pots. An attendant on a bar; a young man who assists the barmaid in serving customers with porter, ale, or beer.
- n. A boy employed as waiter to serve (pots of) drinks, as in a tavern.
- n. UK a boy or man employed in a public house to collect empty pots or glasses.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A boy who carries pots of ale, beer, etc.; a menial in a public house.
- n. a worker in an inn or public house who serves customers and does various chores
- pot + boy (Wiktionary)
“I did not want to make a new translation for the reader but something that everybody in the house, scholar or potboy, would understand as easily as he understood a political speech or an article in a newspaper.”
“The potboy at the corner, who is a privileged amateur, as possessing official knowledge of life and having to deal with drunken men occasionally, exchanges confidential communications with the policeman and has the appearance of an impregnable youth, unassailable by truncheons and unconfinable in station – houses.”
“The man in the fur cap, and the potboy rush out; a scene of riot and confusion ensues; half the Irishmen get shut out, and the other half get shut in; the potboy is knocked among the tubs in no time; the landlord hits everybody, and everybody hits the landlord; the barmaids scream; the police come in; the rest is a confused mixture of arms, legs, staves, torn coats, shouting, and struggling.”
“There is not a potboy in the vicinity who is not, to a greater or less extent, a dramatic character.”
“She brings him back, and, after casting two or three gracious glances across the way, which are either intended for us or the potboy (we are not quite certain which), shuts the door, and the hackney – coach stand is again at a standstill.”
“The unaccustomed visitor from outside, naturally assumed everybody here to be prisoners — landlord, waiter, barmaid, potboy, and all.”
“‘There’s a young ‘ooman has to do with that ere little game,’ said the potboy ‘And it’s two to one the young ‘ooman has the worst of it,’ said the barmaid.”
“He arranged terms of intimacy, I am sorry to say, with the housemaid; and, on the third journey, he made an alliance with the potboy at the Full Moon.”
“He had to pass by the bar, and the barmaid and the potboy looked at him very hard.”
“‘They mostly does,’ said the potboy, not without some feeling of pride in the immunities of his sex.”
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