from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Informal A government agent in charge of collecting revenue, especially one responsible for halting the unlawful distilling or bootlegging of alcohol.
- n. A lightly armed motorboat used by revenuers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An employee of the Internal Revenue Service, especially those charged with enforcement.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a government agent responsible for collecting revenue (especially one responsible for stopping bootlegging)
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I kinda felt like a "revenuer" (tax collector) in back woods Kentucky.
For a moment, even now, she thrilled unpleasantly with a mean suspicion that he might be a "revenuer," after all, and have done the good things he had done as a part of that infernal craft which revenuers sometimes showed when searching for the hidden stills where "moonshine" whisky is illegally produced among the mountains; but she put this thought out of her heart, indignantly, almost as quickly as it came to her.
He had told her that he would, if she would marry him; now that she would not, he told her surlily that he would continue to defy the law even if he knew that every "revenuer" in the state was on his trail.
His clothes did not suggest to her the "revenuer," although they certainly were different from any she had ever seen before on man or beast (his knee breeches gave her some amusement), and he was totally unarmed, having laid his rifle down and left it at a distance, leaning against a stump.
A "revenuer," coming up, just then, to bother him about his still and its unlawful product of raw whisky, would have met small mercy at his hands.
He regards the "revenuer" as the representative of acute and cruel injustice and oppression.
Perhaps Bill Sparkman had been a victim of violent anti-government sentiment in an area known for a rampant drug trade and where "revenuer" is still a dirty word.
When I reported on Franklin County moonshine more than a decade ago, I asked a retired revenuer — who had spent half his 70 years chasing local bootleggers he knew on a first-name basis — if it was a dying tradition.
That's when the officious middle-aged lawyer from Washington appeared, like a federal revenuer who had just discovered a still making moonshine.
I kin show ye how to kotch the hull gang, but not fer pay, an not fer love o 'no revenuer, neither.