Old Names for Occupations
Translate old-time occupations with this glossary.

So your ancestor was an axle tree maker—what does that mean? Use this glossary to translate your kin's archaic occupations. For more career guidance, consult A Dictionary of Old Trades, Titles and Occupations by Colin Waters (Countryside Books) and Old Occupations Explained.

  • accomptant: accountant

  • amanuensis: secretary or stenographer

  • axle tree maker: maker of axles for coaches and wagons

  • baxter: baker

  • bluestocking: female writer

  • brewster: beer manufacturer

  • cohen: priest

  • collier: coal miner

  • costermonger: fruit seller

  • gaoler: jailer

  • hind: farm laborer

  • joyner/joiner: skilled carpenter

  • lavender: washer woman

  • leech/sawbones: washer woman

  • peruker: wigmaker

  • slopseller: seller of ready-made clothes

  • snobscat: shoe repairer

  • tide waiter: customs official

  • tipstaff: policeman

  • vulcan: blacksmith

  • webster: weaver

  • whitewing: street sweeper