A reproof given to a person who stops the decanter at dinner. Dr. Wright, of Norwich, was a great diner-out and excellent talker. When a person stops the bottle and is asked this question, it is as much as to say, Dr. Wright had the privilege of doing so because he entertained the table with his conversation, but you are no Dr. Wright, except in stopping the circulation of the wine.

A similar reproof is given in the combination room of our Universities in this way: The bottle-stopper is asked if he knows A or B (any name), and after several queries as to who A or B is, the questioner says, β€œHe was hanged,” and being asked what for, replies, β€œFor stopping the bottle.”


adapted from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

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