chief cook and bottle washer

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Noun[edit]

chief cook and bottle washer ‎(plural chief cooks and bottle washers)

    • 1809, Bartlett Jere Whiting, quoting Abraham B. Lindsley, Love and Friendship; or, Yankee Notions: A Comedy in Three Acts[1], quoted in Early American Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, Dramatic Repository, Shakespeare-Gallery: D Longworth, ISBN 978-1297777387, Act II, page 40:
      Why sometimes I acts cook, steward, cabin boy, sailor, mate, and bottle washer, for matter 'f that, for there's on'y four on us aboard on her;
  1. (humorous, informal) Someone whose responsibilities include absolutely everything, from the highest level (chief cook) to the lowest (bottle washer)