my daughters and I are all trenchermen


Senior Member
Let's say Mario has been working in the States for a decade, and he's planning to visit his best friend in his hometown in Asia next month. He would like to treat them to a buffet restuarant, but he's having second thoughts because, based on his experience, some people do not eat a lot, so it may be more practical to go to a normal restaurant. His friend replies with the following:

But my wife and my teenage son are both trenchermen, so we can go there.​

Maria in a different state is also in the same situation with her cousin (with three daughters in their early twenties) in Latin America. Her cousin replies with the following:

But my daughters and I are all trenchermen.​

I just want to confirm if their statements sound natural in casual speech. Otherwise, how would you normally express the idea? Maybe trencherman is only used in novels or formal writing, but it is not labeled as formal.
  • ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    If it’s ‘trencherman’, I suggest you unlearn it.

    Any word ending in ‘man’ is out of favour these days … women can be big eaters, too.

    Although I know this word and have used it, I too wondered if his daughters would mind being called "trenchermen". ('trencherwomen' and 'trencherpeople' are absurd.)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I assumed it meant 'someone who digs trenches'! However that turns out to be a trencher.

    Apparently it derives from a different usage of the word 'trencher'.

    1. a person or thing that digs trenches.
    2. ditchdigger (def. 3).
    3. a rectangular or circular flat piece of wood on which meat, or other food, is served or carved.
    4. such a piece of wood and the food on it.
    5. Archaic. food; the pleasures of good eating.
    Definition of trencher |

    As others say, it is uncommon, archaic and hardly anyone, barring Shakespeare scholars, will understand it.

    You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it:
    he is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an
    excellent stomach.​



    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I do know the word trencher. I think I've probably seen it on a restaurant menu and/or read it in historical novels about dining in places like castles.

    But trencherman is new to me.

    Here is an example of a trencher online. They seem to come in various shapes and designs.



    Senior Member
    US English
    When someone is very hungry, though, I think they say in both AE & BE, "I could eat a horse!" And don't we say "I'm as hungry as a bear!"? (In French, one is "as hungry as a wolf".)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    ... And don't we say "I'm as hungry as a bear!"? ...
    Not in the UK. Sadly we don't have bears any more (or wolves)! The biggest land carnivores in Britain are the Badger, Red Fox, and Otter.

    I have heard hungry as a horse and hungry as a hippo though.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    I've heard it, too but not recently - used by people who were not posh or literary, and certainly weren't gastronomes. But it's true that it's becoming obsolete - no doubt for the reason mentioned above by others.