There’s no formal record of what he said at the meeting—one report had it that his words were “nothing but the tee-total would do” but it is also claimed that he said in his strong local accent, “I’ll be reet down out-and-out t-t-total for ever and ever”.
Here’s where it all gets a bit murky. Did Dicky Turner stutter, did he invent a new word by adding t as an intensifier to the front of total, or was he using one already known? We will probably never be entirely sure…
What confuses the issue is that a related word, teetotally, already existed. That certainly did use an extra t at the front to emphasise what followed, so the first form would have been t-totally. It’s first recorded in North America in 1832, the year before Dicky Turner’s speech, and is common there throughout the following decades. The sense, though, is “completely; utterly”, with no link to alcohol. The Nova Scotian writer Thomas Chandler Haliburton put it into his book The Clockmaker of 1836: “I hope I may be tee-totally ruinated, if I’d take eight hundred dollars for him”. There’s a strong suspicion that this was an Irish dialect form that had been exported to North America some time earlier, since it also appears in British writing at the same period and with the same sense, and there is anecdotal evidence that it was known in Ireland much earlier. It appears, for example, in a story by Thomas de Quincey in 1839: “An ugly little parenthesis between two still uglier clauses of a teetotally ugly sentence”.
However, no evidence has been put forward that teetotally was known at the time in the Lancashire dialect. If they were, Dicky Turner would hardly have been given the credit for teetotal that he received from Preston people during his lifetime. He does seem to have created the word anew.