C .
CAAL Think [southwest England]
CAB DRIVER, CABBIE or CABMAN Driver of a small horse drawn passenger vehicle
CABLE Nautical length of one hundred fathoms
CACHERE A Hunter [Anglo-Norman]
CACK-HANDEDLefthanded [mid north England]
CAD Person who fed and watered horses at coach stops
CADDIE Boy who carried messages or who ran errands
CADDISH On the boundary line
CADDY BUTCHER Butcher that dealt in horse meat
CADGER Beggar, packman or itinerant huckster
CAFENDER Carpenter
CAFFLER Rag and bone collector
CAGGY-HANDED OR CASS-HANDED Left-handed [Midlands]
CAINER Person who made walking sticks
CAIRD Tinker [Northumberland]
CAKE-NIGHT The eve of All-Saints, as called in Ripon, Yorkshire. At this time a cake is made for every family member.
CALCAR An Astrologer
CALCINER Person who made powdered line from burnt bones
CALENDER Person who listed documents
CALENDERER Person who operated a pressing machine which had two rollers [calender] to press and finish fabrics or paper
CALIMANCO-CAT A tortoise-shell cat [Norfolk]
CALKINSThe parts of a horse-shoe which are turned up and sharpened to prevent slipping [North England]
CAMBIST Banker, financier, dealer in bills of exchange
CAMBRIC MAKERPerson who made a fine linen or cotton fabric [Cambric]
CAMERIST Lady's maid
CAMISTER Minister of the cloth
CAMLET MERCHANT Person who sold cloth used to make cloaks and petticoats [Camlet]
CAMMIT Crooked [Wales]
CAMP To chat [northwest England]
CANDLEMAS 2nd February
CANDLER Candlemaker
CANDY MAN Bailiff [slang], or a seller of candy
CANER Person who made chair seats of woven cane
CANNALLER Canal boat worker
CANNY Term of approval, [northeast England]
CANON Portion of a deceased man's goods claimed by the priest
CANTABANQUI Ballad-singers
CANTER Beggar or vagrant, or a religious speaker
CANTING-CALLER An Auctioneer [North England]
CANVASER Canvas maker
CAPILLAIRE MAKERManufacturing of orange flavoured syrup
CAPPER or CAPER A soft cap maker
CARD NAILER Person who maintained the teeth on the carding machine used for teasing wool and cotton before weaving
CARDER Person who worked a carding machine to remove tangles from wool and cotton before weaving
CARDMAKER Person who made handheld instrument for carding wool and cotton, or one who made playing cards
CARDROOMER Person who worked in the carding room of a mill
CARL-CAT A tom-cat [North England]
CARLOT Peasant
CARPET-KNIGHTS Knights dubbed at court, in contrast to those honoured on the field of battle or for military service. A term of contempt.
CART WHEELER Maker of cart wheels
CARTER Carrier, carman, wagoner
CARTOMANCER Fortune teller who used cards
CARTWRIGHT Person who made wagons and carts
CASHMARIE Person who sold fish, usually at inland markets
CASTTo cast a horse: to throw him down by a rope, for any operation requiring confinement of the limbs
CASTER or CASTORPerson who made small bottles for sprinkling condiments
CAT-MAG A Gossip [Midlands]
CATCH-ROGUE A constable or bailiff [East England]
CATCHPOLE or CATCHPOLL Bailiff or sheriff's officer
CATECHIST Teacher of religion
CATTLE JOBBER Cattle merchant
CAUCIOUR A surveyor [Cumberland]
CAULKER Person who made boats or casks watertight by caulking the seams with tar or oakum-hemp fibre
CAUSEWAYER Person who made road repairs [Scotland c1800]
CAUTIONER Surety, sponsor
CEILER Roffing worker
CELERER An officer in a monastery who was in charge of provisions
CELLARMAN Worker in liquor warehouse or public house
CEMMER Person who hand-combed yarn prior to weaving
CESS Land tax [Scotland]
CHAB, CHABBY, CHAVVY Child, baby [From Romany, mid north England]
CHADFARTHING A farthing formerly paid among the Easter dues, to hallow the font for christenings
CHAFF CUTTER Person who made chaff by cutting straw
CHAFFERER Chaff dealer
CHAIN 22 yards
CHAIR BODGER Travelling repairer of chairs
CHAISE DRIVER Driver of light two wheeled open carriage
CHAISE MAKER Person who made light carriages or chairs from wicker
CHALDER 96 bushels
CHALONER Blanket maker, or dealer in shalloon, a material made in Chalons
CHAMBER MASTER Shoemaker working from home
CHAMBERER A chamber maid
CHAMBERLIN An male or female attendant in an inn, like a present head-waiter or upper chambermaid, or both combined.
CHANDLER Candlemaker/dealer, grocer, or provisioner of ships, or for other special purposes
CHANGERWIFE An itinerant female huckster or hawker [North England]
CHANTY MAN Leader of shanty singing on ships
CHAPCHURCH A parish clerk
CHAPELER Maker and seller of hats
CHAPMANMerchant, dealer or itinerant pedlar, or keeper of a booth or market stall, or a horse dealer
CHARCOAL BURNER Woodland charcoal maker
CHARE-THURSDAY Maundy Thursday
CHARLEY Night-watchman
CHARTER-MASTER or CHARTMASTERA man who employs miners under him to fulfill a contract to get coal or iron-stone for a set price
CHARTERER A Freeholder [Cheshire]
CHARTISTS Those involved in a political movementof working class beginnings, from 1838, who rallied for reforms concerning various voting and parliamentary matters. More than a million signed a petition in 1839, which was not acted upon
CHARWOMAN Cleaning woman
CHASER Engraver
CHATELAINE Mistress of a house
CHAUNTER Street entertainer and balladier
CHEG OR CHORETo steal [Scotland]
CHESTER A person who embalms, or places corpses in coffins
CHILDBED LINEN KEEPER Person who hired bedlinen for use in home births specially before the 20th century
CHIN Break [northeast England]
CHINGLOR Rooftiler who used wooden shingles
CHIP or CHIPPER Shipwright or carpenter
CHIRUGION or CHIRURGEON Apothecary or surgeon
CHOPIN One quart [Scotland]
CHOWDER Fish seller [Devon]
CHUCK Term of endearment [northwest England]
CHUNTER Mutter, mumble or grumble [Midlands]
CHURCH-MASTER Church warden [North England]
CHURCH-REVE Church warden [Anglo-Saxon]
CINDER WENCH Women who collected cinders from gas works and sold them door to door
CLAKER Magician or astrologer
CLANJAMFRIE A crowd, odds and ends [Scotland]
CLAPMAN Man who escorted a person to jail
CLARTS Mid [northeast England]
CLARTY Dirty, muddy [Scotland]
CLASSMAN Unemployed labourer
CLAY CARRIER Assistant to shot firer in a clay pit
CLAYMAN Person in a clay pit who prepared the clay for brickmaking, or who coated the outside of buildings with clay to waterproof them
CLEMMED OR CLAMMED Hungry [Midlands]
CLERK IN HOLY ORDERS Clergyman or priest
CLERICUS Clerk [Medieval]
CLICKER Person in charge of the final stage of layout before printing
CLICKER Salesman's assistant and usher
CLICKER Cobbler, especially cutting the uppers of a shoe, or making the shoelace holes
CLICKY-HANDED Left-handed [southwest England]
CLIPE To tell on someone [Scotland]
CLIPPER Sheep-shearer [North England]
CLIPPER or CLIPPER ON & OFF Person in a coal mine who attached the carts to a wire or rope so as to move them
CLOD-HOPPER Farmer's labourer or ploughman
CLOGGER Clog-maker
CLOSE Street or alley [Scotland]
CLOTH LAPPER Person who readied cloth from the carding machine
CLOTH LINTER OR PICKER Person who removed unwanted threads or lint from material
CLOTTER A Clothier
CLOUTIER Nailmaker, also shoemaker
CLOVE Seven pounds
CLOWER Nailmaker
CLOY To prick in shoeing a horse, or to nail or spike up in artillery
CLUNIAC Benedictine monk
CLUSTERFIST Clod-hopper, farm labourer or ploughman
COAL BACKER Person who carried coal sacks from the barge to coal wagons
COAL BURNER Charcoal maker
COAL DRAWER Person who moved coal carts in the bottom of a mine pit
COAL HEAVER Person who moved coal between boat and shore
COAL RUNNER Person who attended coal carts underground
COAL WHIPPER Person who unloaded coal from ships in baskets using a basic crane
COALMAN or COALHIGGLER Coal merchant selling coal house to house
COALMETER Measurer of coal
COALY A Lamplighter [Newcastle]
COAST SURVEYOR or WAITER Customs officer who oversaw delivery of goods to shore
COB Bread roll [Midlands]
COB Spanish coin, formerly current in Ireland, worth about 4s. 8d.
COB IT Throw it away [Midlands]
COB ON Annoyed [Northwest England]
COBLEMAN Fisherman who used a flat bottomed boat
COCKLER Seller of cockles
COD To joke [Midlands]
COD PLACER Person who put the fire proof containers holding pottery into the kiln for firing
CODDER Pea-gatherer [Middlesex]
COELEBS Bachelor
COGNATE Persons related through the mother
COHEN Priest
COINER Person who stamped out new coins at a mint
COLLIER Coal miner, merchant or worker on a coal barge
COLLOP MONDAY The day before Shrove Tuesday on which in some parts of England people ate collops, or slices of meat, sometimes coated with egg. Also `Merry Monday'
COLLOPS Lots of [Northwest England]
COLONUS Farmer/Husbandman [Latin]
COLOURMAN Mixer of dyes in the textile industry, or seller of paints
COLPORTEUR Seller of books, especially religious books
COLT A worker who hasn't served a regular apprenticeship
COLT Apprentice [West England]
COLT Women and child workers in knitting industry in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire during Luddit Disturbances 1811-1812
COMB MAKER Maker of wool combs for textile industry, or hair combs
COMBER Person who operated a combing machine in the mills
COMBER/COMBERE Comber of wool
COMMISSARIOT Court mainly concerned with wills
COMMOTHER Godmother [North England]
COMPOSITOR Setter of printing type
CONDER Person ashore who gave directions to inshore fishermen as to where the fish were to be found
CONEY CATCHER Rabbit catcher
CONNER Inspector or tester
CONSANGUINE Siblings where there is a common father but different mothers
CONSUMPTION Tuberculosis
CONTRIVER Inventor or schemer
COOMB Four bushels
COOPER/CUPER Person who made or repaired wooden casks or barrels
COOPERY Barrel production
COPER Horse dealer
COPLAND Angular piece of land
CORACLE MAKER Person who made coracles [small round fishing boats]
CORDWAINER or CORDINER or CORVEYSERA Shoemaker, from Spanish `cordovan' [leather]
CORK CUTTER Person who worked with cork
CORN CHANDLER Corn merchant
CORN CUTTER Podiatrist
CORN FACTOR Middleman between corn merchants
CORN METER Official who measured and weighed corn at market
CORNET Commissioned officer in a cavalry regiment
CORNLAITERS Newly married peasants begging corn to start their first crop
CORRETIER A horse-dealer
CORSERE A horseman, war horse, and sometimes a horse-dealer
CORVER Person who made baskets [corves] used in coal mining
CORVISOR Shoemaker
CORYAR A currier
COSIER A cobbler
COSTER WIFE Female street trader
COSTERMONGERStreet or market seller of fruit and vegetables
COTELER or COTYLER Cutler, person who made or repaired knives
COTTAGER, COTTAR, COTTER or COTTIER Agricultural labourer
COTTON FEEDER Person in a cotton mill who fed cotton into the loom
COUCHER Person working in paper making trade
COUNTOUR Rate collector
COUPER Cattle and horse dealer
COUPLE BEGGAR Itinerant priest who performed marriages without banns or license
COUPLER Person who coupled coal tubs together in a mine
COURSEY Pavement [Mid North England]
COURT FACTOR Merchant in courts [small carts]
COURT-MAN Courtier [Anglo-Norman]
COURT-ROLLER The writer or keeper of the rolls of a court of law
COURT TOOLMAKER Maker of tools used to make courts [carts]
COURTESY Life-rent enjoyed by a widower of the heritage of his late wife
COURTIER Owner/driver of a court [horse and cart]
COUVADE A curious custom
COVENANTERS Scottish Presbyterians who were against the restoration of the Episcopalian Church and upheld the National Covenant of 1638. They were outlawed in 1662, and thereafter persecuted
COW HERD Cow-keeper
COW JOCKEY Beast-dealer [North England]
COW LEECH Animal doctor
COWHERD, COWKEEPER or COWMAN Person responsible for cows
CRABBIT Bad-tempered, sullen [Scotland]
CRAMER A tinker
CRANKIES Pitmen [North England]
CREAMER One who runs a stall in a market or fair
CREEK Servant [Suffolk]
CREEP-HEDGE Vagrant [East England]
CRICKER A man who carries heavy loads on a horse [West England]. More often refers to a collier's horse
CRIER Law court officer, auctioneer or town announcer
CRIMPER Member of a Navy press gang
CROAKUM-SHIRE Northumberland
CROFT Smallholding
CROFTER Small tenant farmer
CROGGIN' IN Jumping the queue [Midlands]
CROPPER Tenant paid with a share of crop
CROPPER Skilled worker in weaving trade who sheared the nap from cloth [Yorkshire]
CROUP Diptheria etc
CROWDER Fiddler [Wales]
CROWKEEPER Boy employed to scare crows from fields, in early times armed with a bow [East England]
CROWN Five shillings
CRUSADO Portuguese coin
CUBIT Eighteen inches
CUE Half a farthing
CUE A horse-shoe or ox-shoe: The tip of a shoe made in that form [West England]
CUE-FELLOWS Actors who play a scene together
CUFFINQUIRE Justice of the Peace
CURATOR Person appointed to administer the estate of another as in the case of a minor
CURBER A thief who used a hook to take goods out a window
CURER Person who cures tobacco
CURNOCK Four bushels of corn
CURRIER Person who cures or tans hides
CURSTY Christopher [North England]
CUSHION-THUMPER Methodist preacher
CUSTOMER Customs tax collector
CUSTRELL One who carries the arms of a night
CUT Canal [Midlands]
CUT-THROAT Highway robber or evil-looking fellow
CUTLER Dealer and sharpener of knives
CUTTER Engraver [North England]
CUTTER Robber or ruffian
CWM [COOM] Valley [Wales]
CWT One hundredweight
CYPRUS CAT In East Anglia, a tabby cat
D .
DAFT Stupid, mid North England
DAFTER Daughter [East England]
DAIRIER A dairy-man [North England]
DAIRYMAN A person who rents cows from a farmer
DALE Valley, mid North England
DALRIAD An Ulster Scot
DANDIPRAT A small 16th century coin, also meaning a small boy or urchin
DANE Red-haired man, Southwest England
DANTER Overseer [female] of winding in a silk mill
DARBYITES Followers of John Nelson Darby 1800-1882, a founder of the Plymouth brethren
DATER Daughter [North England]
DAUGHTER-IN-BASE A bastard-daughter
DAUGHTER-LAW Daughter-in-law [West England]
DAY-MAID Dairy maid
DAY-MAN, DATALLER, DATELER or DAYTALEMAN Casual worker, employed by the day
DAYS-MAN An arbitrator or umpire. Still used in North England
DAYS-MATH An acre. The quantity mown by a man in one day [West England]
DEAD-PAY The pay of dead soldiers, illegally taken by officers
The part of his moveable estate that a man can leave in his will [Scotland]
DEATHSMEAR A rapid and fatal disease suffered by children, now obsolete
DEBTEE The lender
DEBTOR The borrower
DECIBEL Unit of noise
DECIMER Elected by householders to represent them at a borough's court leet
DECOYMAN Person who decoyed wild animals and wildfowl into traps or hunting areas
DECRETAL A decree, particularly in Roman Catholic Church
DEEMSTER, DEMPSTER or DEEMER A judge [Channel Islands or Isle of Man]
DELVER Ditch-digger
DEMESNE Feudal lord's farming land
DENIZENForeigner granted certain rights, an alien inhabitant
DEPARTER Person who refined precious metals
DEPUTY The safety officer for the pit crew in a mine
DERRICKMAN Person who handled tubes and rods used for drilling on an oil well
DEVIL Printer's errand boy
DEVILLER Person who worked the machine [the devil], that tore rags in the textile industry
DEY or DEY WIFE A female servant in charge of a dairy
DICKON Nickname for Richard
DIGGER Worker at the coal face, or a day labourer in a stone/slate quarry.
DIGGERS A splinter group from the Levellers who urged the distribution of land among the people during the Commonwealth [Interregnum]
DIKE-REVE A person in charge of dikes and drains in marshes
DIKEMAN A hedger or ditcher
DINDERS Small coins of the lower empire found at Wroxeter
DIPPER Person who glazed pieces in a pottery shop
DISH THROWER Person who made clay bowls or dishes
DISH TURNER Person who made wooden bowls or dishes
DISHER Person who made dishes and bowls
DISHWASHER Scullery maid
DISSENTERS Various religious bodies/sects which dissented from the Church of England, 17th century. Later referred to as Non-Conformists
DISTAFF DAY 7th January, when women returned to spinning [to the distaff] following the Christmas break. Spinning was traditionally work done by unmarried daughters, hence `Spinster.' The female members of a family were known as the `distaff side.'
DISTILLER OR RECTIFIER Person who distilled spirits
DISTRIBUTOR Parish official who took care of secular needs of the poor, on behalf of a workhouse
DIURNAL-WOMEN Women who cried the daily papers in the streets
DOCK WALLOPER Dock worker or longshoreman
DODKIN A very small coin, an eighth part of a stiver
DODY George [North England]
DOER Agent, manager or factor
DOG BREAKER Dog trainer
DOG LEECH A veterinarian
DOG-WHIPPER Church beadle [North England]
DOGNOPER The parish beadle [Yorkshire]
DOIT A small Dutch coin worth about half a farthing
DOMESMAN A judge [nickname]
DOMINIE Schoolmaster, Scotland
DOMMERARS Beggars, often Welshmen, who pretended to be dumb.
DONKEY BOY/DONKEY MAN Person who drove a passenger carriage
DONNIES Hands, Midlands
DOOR KEEPER A guard, janitor or porter
DORCAS Seamstress
DOUBLER Person who used a machine to twist strands of fibre together
DOWAGER Widow with a jointure
DOZENER Also decimer
DRAGMAN Net fisherman
DRAGOON Cavalryman
DRAGSMAN Driver of a small stagecoach or carriage for public use or private hire
DRAINER Drainmaker
DRAM 1/16 ounces, measure of spirits, Scotland
DRAPERY PAINTER Mediocre painter who usually completed an artist's work by painting the clothes on a subject
DRAWBOY Assisted weavers in shawl-making mills by sitting on top of the loom and lifting the wool
DRAWER A wiremaker in the metal industry, drawing metal through a die
DRAWERPerson who raised coal to the surface up the shaft in a mine
DRAWER Barman, bartender
DRAWLATCH A thief, house-breaker
DRAYMAN Person who drove a dray, a heavy cart which carried beer kegs
DREDGERMAN On the Thames, collected debris from other vessels which had fallen in the river
DREDGERMAN Oyster fisherman
DREGISTER A druggist [Suffolk]
DREICH Miserable wet gloomy weather, Scotland
DRENGES A class of men who held a rank between baron and thayn
DRESSER Assisted wealthy people to dress or prepared their food
DRESSER Assisted actors or actresses to dress in the theatre
DRESSER Person who dressed wounds in an operation
DRESSEROperator of a machine that prepared threads in a mill
DRESTALL Scarecrow [Devon]
DREVIL A drudge, servant
DRIFT MAKER Maker of drift nets for fishing
DRIPPING MAN Fat/lard dealer
DRIVER Slave overseer
DROFMAN Herdsman
DROPSYAscites, accumulation of fluids in the body
DROVER Cattle driver
DRUGGER Pharmacist
DRUM BATTLEDORE MAKER Person who made galvanised metal drums fitted with paddles used as agitators in washing machines
DRUMBLEDRANE Bumble bee, Southwest England
DRUMMER Travelling salesman
DRY SALTER Dealer in pickles, dried meats and sauces
DRY STANE DYKER Dry stone waller [Scotland]
DRY STONE WALLER Built walls of uncut stones without cement or mortar
DRYSALTERDealer in salted meats, or a dealer in dyes and colours, or someone who made or dealt in salt
DUBBER Bookbinder and trimmer
DUBBERE A person who raised the nap of cloth
DUFFER A pedlar of womens' clothes [South England]
DUNNER Debt-collector
DUSTYPOLL Nickname for a miller
DWT One pennyweight
DYER Person in a mill who coloured fabric before weaving
DYKEMAN Hedger or ditcher
DYKER Stonemason [Scotland]
E .
EALDORMAN Official of the shire courts who acted as the King's deputy
EAM or EME Uncle, or in Yorkshire, a friend or neighbour [North England]
EARER Ploughman
EAST INDIA MAN Person employed by the East India Company, either in the commercial or military sphere
EBONITE TURNER Person who made combs or ornaments from ebonite or vulcanite
EDGE TOOLMAKER Blacksmith who made knives and farming implements like scythes
EGG DEALER OR FACTOR Egg or poultry dealer
EGGLER Egg or poultry dealer
EIK In addition [Scotland]
ELD-FATHER Grandfather [North England]
ELD-MOTHER or ELMOTHER Step-mother [North England]
ELLERMAN, ELLIMAN or OILMAN Person who sold lamp oil
EMBOSSER Person who moulded or carved embossed designs
EMMET Ant, Southwest England
EMPRESARIO Landbroker or showman, person who promoted settlement schemes
ENGINE TENTER Person who used a machine in a woollen mill to stretch the cloth as it dried
ENGINE TURNER Craftsman or engraver who designed and made geometric patterns on metal objects
ENGINEMAN Person in a mine in charge of the winding machine
ENSIGN Commisssioned officer in the Navy
ENUMERATOR Census information recorder
EODEM DIE Same day
EQUERRY Officer of the royal household, responsible for the royal horses
ERITE Heretic
ESQUIRE Person who attended a knight, carrying his helmet, shield and spear. Later a title for a gentleman or landowner
ESTAFETTE A mounted courier
ETCHER Person who cuts/carves designs/lettering in metal or stone
ETCHER Person who made plates for printing patterns on cloth, or for paper money
EWE HERD Shepherd
EXACTOR Tax collector
EXCHEQUER Tax collector
EXCISEMAN Excise tax collector
EYER/HOLER Person who made eyes in sewing needles
EXEQUY Funeral rites

Definitions Index:


Definitions: A-B

Definitions: F-K

Definitions: L-R

Definitions: S-Z

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Updated February 12th 2004