5 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

From OED (minus all non-Samuel cittions):

I. 1. A cutting or slicing instrument; a knife.

II. 2. A flat piece of wood, square or circular, on which meat was served and cut up; a plate or platter of wood, metal, or earthenware. arch. and Hist.

3. A slice of bread used instead of a plate or platter. Obs.

4. a. A trencher and that which it bears; a supply of food; cf. TABLE 6c. arch.

b. In proverbial phrases, chiefly of obvious meaning. to lick the trencher, to toady; to play the parasite. trim as a trencher: see quot. 1542.

5. transf. A flat board, circular or otherwise.

b. Applied to a butcher's

Peter  •  Link

I have heard the phrase "a good trencherman" used to describe someone who eats heartily.

heldmyw  •  Link

I have read accounts of a trencher being a 'thick and hearty slab of bread' used as a plate, and, following the meal, these were tossed into a basket for distribution to the poor.

Neat, tidy, eco-friendly, and charity all at the same time! (Plus the plates all match!)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

TRENCHER [tranchoir, F.] a sort of wooden Plate to eat Victuals on.
A TRENCHER Man, a great Eater.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

On Jan. 8, 1661, Pepys buys a dozen trenchers from Thomas Pepys, the joiner. I guess these were of the wooden variety.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Jan
  • Jun


  • Dec


  • Jan