- originally a term in prize ring parlance for the second who took charge of the water-bottle, which was an essential feature in all pugilistic arrangements. This second used to hold the combatant on his knee between the rounds, while the other or principal second sponged, instructed, and advised; an abettor; also the bridegroom’s man at a wedding. Slang term for Lord Palmerston, derived from a speech he made some years ago when foreign secretary, in which he described himself as acting the part of a judicious BOTTLE-HOLDER among the foreign powers.
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