Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Trade

So many of my favorite historical trades (yes, I’m using the term lightly) begin with the letter T that I thought they deserved a post to themselves. We have:

Tar. Doesn’t it evoke so much more feeling than “sailor”?

Thimblerigger. You know that “Which cup is it under game?” The man in charge of such prestidigitation was called a thimblerigger. I think it’s also a great word to slip into conversation by way of a metaphor.

Ticket-of-leave man. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, criminals who were excused early from their sentence by way of a ticket of leave were given this title.

Ticket porter. Another 19th century trade. Not just anyone could be a porter (person who carried things). You had to have a ticket to show you were official.

Tidewaiter. This was a customs official, so called because he had to wait for boats to come in on the tide before boarding them.

Tinker. Someone who repaired pots and pans. I love the ring of it, but it was considered a very low profession.

Top sawyer. Yes, the man who sawed on top (of a saw pit), which was an enviable position for obvious reasons. The term came to mean anyone in a very good position.

Tosspot. So it’s not exactly a trade, but it is a very good 19th century word for a person who drank a lot.

4 comments:

  1. Fascinating how specific these trades are. I esp. like thimblerigger and tinker.

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  2. Thimblerigger, yeah. Never heard that before.

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  3. Such good "T" words. Many I've never heard of before. Just stopping by to say hi on the challenge.

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  4. So interesting! Great "t" post!

    I'm A-Z blog hopping, and it's always nice to find a fellow Christian writer.

    Christine
    Coffee in the Garden
    In the Care of the Great Physician

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