The Strangest Names For Occupations

Genealogists are often interested in specific occupations because people's surnames often came from the occupation that they held. This information could be useful when trying to find people. It also shows what kind of background their ancestors came from and what type of life the ancestor lead. Those with upper class jobs, for example, usually had a better life, as did their children. The only problem involves deciphering the unusual names often given to these professions.

Here is a list of some uncommon occupations and their meanings:

Accomptant - an accountant.

Amen Man - parish clerk.

All Spice - grocer.

Bagman - traveling salesman.

Bagniokeeper - manager of a brothel.

Caffler - collector of bones and rags.

Capillaire Maker - made syrup that was flavored orange.

Day Man - laborer who worked day by day.

Deathsman - an executioner.

Duffer - salesman offering cheap wares.

Earer - man who worked the plow.

Elephant‘s Teeth Dealer - salesman specializing in ivory goods.

Falconer - worker who trained hawks.

Foot Pad - robber.

Gager - worker who collected the taxes on liquor.

Gamester - male gambler or a female prostitute.

Hansard - worker who made weapons or sold them.

Honey Dipper - removed the sewage from outhouses.

Interfactor - killer.

Ivory workers - made products out of ivory.

Jagger - seller of fish.

Jobber - wholesale buyer.

Knappers - shaped flint according to customer needs.

Kneller - door to door chimney sweeper.

Laceman - seller of lace.

Laster - maker of shoes.

Maderer - gatherer and seller of garlic.

Marbler - created paper products that resembled marble.

Neatherd - herder of cows.

Netter - person who specialized in making nets.

Oilman - sold lamp oil.

Owler - smuggler specializing in wool and sheep.

Parker - man who cleaned and took care of parks.

Pinsetter - individual who setup pins at a bowling alley.

Post Boy - mail carrier.

Quarrier - worker in a quarry.

Quister - individual who bleached materials.

Redsmith - worker who used gold.

Renovator - clothing repairman.

Salt Boiler - worker who boiled saltwater to extract the salt.

Scavelman - worker who cleaned ditches and waterways.

Tallyman - sold book sets on an installment plan.

Treenail Maker - made wooden pins for the building of ships.

Upholder - reseller of goods.

Valuator - appraiser who set the price for items.

Vassal - low servant.

Wagoner - individual who drove a wagon.

Xylographer - creator of wooden blocks for printing.

Yeoman - farmer.

Zitherist - individual who played a specific instrument.

More resources on odd occupation names include:

These are only a few examples of the odd and unusual jobs once held by people. Some of the jobs still exist today, only under much different names.