Old Occupations You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

  • Accomptant — Accountant
  • Almoner — Giver of charity to the needy
  • Amanuensis — Secretary or stenographer
  • Artificer — A soldier mechanic who does repairs
  • Bailie — Bailiff
  • Baxter — Baker
  • Bluestocking — Female writer
  • Boniface — Keeper of an inn
  • Brazier — One who works with brass
  • Brewster — Beer manufacturer
  • Brightsmith — Metal Worker
  • Burgonmaster — Mayor
  • Caulker — One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows or seems to them watertight by using tar or oakum-hemp fiber produced by taking old ropes apart
  • Chaisemaker — Carriage maker
  • Chandler — Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles; retailer of groceries
  • Chiffonnier — Wig maker
  • Clark — Clerk
  • Clerk — Clergyman, cleric
  • Clicker — The servant of a salesman who stood at the door to invite customers; one who received the matter in the galley from the compositors and arranged it in due form ready for printing; one who makes eyelet holes in boots using a machine which clicked.
  • Cohen — Priest (descendant of Levi)
  • Collier — Coal miner
  • Colporteur — Peddler of books
  • Cooper — One who makes or repairs vessels made of staves and hoops, such as casks, barrels, tubs, etc.
  • Cordwainer — Shoemaker, originally any leather worker using leather from Cordova/Cordoba in Spain
  • Costermonger — Peddler of fruits and vegetables
  • Crocker — Potter
  • Crowner — Coroner
  • Currier — One who dresses the coat of a horse with a currycomb; one who tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease
  • Docker Stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
  • Dowser — One who finds water using a rod or witching stick
  • Draper — A dealer in dry goods
  • Drayman — One who drives a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads
  • Dresser — A surgeon’s assistant in a hospital
  • Drover — One who drives cattle, sheep, etc. to market; a dealer in cattle
  • Duffer — Peddler
  • Factor — Agent, commission merchant; one who acts or transacts business for another; Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate Farrier A blacksmith, one who shoes horses
  • Faulkner — Falconer
  • Fell monger — One who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making
  • Fletcher — One who made bows and arrows
  • Fuller — One who fulls cloth;one who shrinks and thickens woolen cloth by moistening, heating, and pressing; one who cleans and finishes cloth
  • Gaoler — A keeper of the goal, a jailer
  • Glazier — Window glassman
  • Hacker — Maker of hoes
  • Hatcheler — One who combed out or carded flax
  • Haymonger — Dealer in hay
  • Hayward — Keeper of fences
  • Higgler — Itinerant peddler
  • Hillier — Roof tiler
  • Hind — A farm laborer
  • Hostler — A groom who took care of horses, often at an inn
  • Hooker — Reaper
  • Hooper — One who made hoops for casks and barrels
  • Huckster — Sells small wares
  • Husbandman — A farmer who cultivated the land
  • Jagger — Fish peddler
  • Journeyman — One who had served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft, not bound to serve a master, but hired by the day
  • Joyner / Joiner A skilled carpenter
  • Keeler — Bargeman
  • Kempster — Wool comber
  • Lardner — Keeper of the cupboard
  • Lavender — Washer woman
  • Lederer — Leather maker
  • Leech — Physician
  • Longshoreman — Stevedore
  • Lormer — Maker of horse gear
  • Malender — Farmer
  • Maltster — Brewer
  • Manciple — A steward
  • Mason — Bricklayer
  • Mintmaster — One who issued local currency
  • Monger — Seller of goods (ale, fish)
  • Muleskinner — Teamster
  • Neatherder — Herds cows
  • Ordinary Keeper — Innkeeper with fixed prices
  • Pattern Maker — A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
  • Peregrinator Itinerant wanderer
  • Peruker — A wig maker
  • Pettifogger — A shyster lawyer
  • Pigman — Crockery dealer
  • Plumber — One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows.
  • Porter — Door keeper
  • Puddler — Wrought iron worker
  • Quarrier — Quarry worker
  • Rigger — Hoist tackle worker
  • Ripper — Seller of fish
  • Roper — Maker of rope or nets
  • Saddler — One who makes, repairs or sells saddles or other furnishings for horses
  • Sawbones — Physician
  • Sawyer — One who saws; carpenter
  • Schumacker — Shoemaker
  • Scribler — A minor or worthless author
  • Scrivener — Professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
  • Scrutiner — Election judge
  • Shrieve — Sheriff
  • Slater — Roofer
  • Slopseller — Seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
  • Snobscat/Snob — One who repaired shoes
  • Sorter — Tailor
  • Spinster — A woman who spins or an unmarried woman
  • Spurrer — Maker of spurs
  • Squire — Country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace
  • Stuff gown — Junior barrister
  • Stuff gownsman — Junior barrister
  • Supercargo — Officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship
  • Tanner — One who tans (cures) animal hides into leather
  • Tapley — One who puts the tap in an ale cask
  • Tasker — Reaper
  • Teamster — One who drives a team for hauling
  • Thatcher — Roofer
  • Tide waiter — Customs inspector
  • Tinker — An itinerant tin pot and pan seller and repairman
  • Tipstaff — Policeman
  • Travers — Toll bridge collection
  • Tucker — Cleaner of cloth goods
  • Turner — A person who turns wood on a lathe into spindles
  • Victualer — A tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy, or ship with food
  • Vulcan — Blacksmith
  • Wagoner — Teamster not for hire
  • Wainwright — Wagon maker
  • Waiter — Customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
  • Waterman — Boatman who plies for hire
  • Webster — Operator of looms
  • Wharfinger — Owner of a wharf
  • Wheelwright — One who made or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages, etc.
  • Whitesmith — Tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
  • Whitewing — Street sweeper
  • Whitster — Bleach of cloth
  • Wright — Workman, especially a construction worker
  • Yeoman — Farmer who owns his own land

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