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Sutler vs settler

Sutler and settler are two words that are sometime confused. We will examine the definitions of sutler and settler, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A sutler is a civilian person who sells provisions to an army. A sutler may have a store inside an outpost, licensed by the military commander, or he may simply follow the army in a wagon outfitted with supplies. The word sutler is derived from the Dutch word soeteler which means peddler or someone who does dirty tasks.

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A settler is someone who puts down roots in a previously uninhabited area, usually building a farm or sometimes a ranch in an area without civilization. Settlers are usually the first to come to an uninhabited area, eventually building towns and cities. The word settler is the agent noun of the word settle, which is derived from the Old English word setlan, which means to seat.

Examples

. I do not know what more you ask and as you hint about accounts with the sutler, I will tell you the largest amount I have ever owed him at any pay day was $3.00 and that was for necessary articles not furnished by the government. … (The Herald Times Reporter)

Several structures surrounded its parade grounds, including company and junior officers’ quarters, stables, hospital, bakery, guard house and a sutler’s store. (The Buffalo News)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday condemned a rock throwing attack allegedly carried out by Israeli settlers in the West Bank over the weekend in which an IDF officer was injured, calling the perpetrators “thugs.” (The Times of Israel)

The Rush and Rodgers clans stuck together, following Thomas Rodgers to Rangitikei and Manawatu, some of the area’s first European settlers. (The Manawatu Standard)

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