Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Originally, a local officer appointed to assay ale and beer, and to take care that they were good and wholesome, and sold at a proper price.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun engraving Orig., an officer appointed to look to the goodness of ale and beer; also, one of the officers chosen by the liverymen of London to inspect the measures used in public houses. But the office is a sinecure. [Also called aletaster.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical, UK An officer appointed yearly at the leet of ancient English communities to ensure the goodness and wholesomeness of bread, ale, and beer.
  • noun historical, UK One of the officers chosen by the liverymen of London, England for the sinecure of inspecting the measures used in public houses.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

ale + con, Old English cunnen to test, Anglo-Saxon cunnian to test. See con and -er.

Examples

  • I shot be shoddied, throttle me, fine me cowheel for ever, usquebauched the ersewild aleconner, for bringing briars to Bem-bracken and ringing rinbus round Demetrius for, as you wrinkle wryghtly, bully bluedomer, it’s a suirsite’s stircus haunting hes-teries round old volcanoes.

    Finnegans Wake

Comments

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  • (Brit.) An official appointed to look to the goodness of ale and beer; also, one of the officers chosen by the liverymen of London to inspect the measures used in public houses. Also called aletaster.

    May 11, 2008