Glossary of Old Scottish Terms for Occupations

Abbott - Senior monk in charge of an abbey in the pre-Reformation, Roman Catholic or Episcopal church

Advocate - Solicitor in a Court of Law

Ag. Lab - Agricultural Labourer

Alewife - Woman who sells ale

Annealer - Processed metal or glass by furnace heating

Annuitant - Pensioner

Apothecary - Surgeon

Aquavite maker - Whisky distiller

Argentier - A treasurer

Bailie - Magistrate in a Scottish Burgh

Banksman - Mine worker at pithead unloading coal from the cages

Bard - Poet

Bleacher - Factory worker who bleached textiles

Bottler - Filler of bottles in a distillery

Cadger - Travelling pedlar

Chairman - A carrier of a sedan chair and passenger

Charwoman - Cleaner

Cobbler - Maker of shoes

Cooper - Maker of barrels and casks e.g. for whiskey

Creelman - Carried goods to market in a basket

Crofter - Tenant of farm and cottage in Highlands and Islands

Darner - Repairing holes garments, typically stockings

Dominie - School teacher

Dyker - Builder of dry stone walls (dykes)

Farm servant - Farm worker

Feuar - Landholder under feudal system paid a feu (fee) to the lord

Gaberlunzie - A beggar

Ghillie - Highland gamekeeper

Hawker - Pedlar of small goods from door to door

Hooper - Maker of hoops for barrels

Japanner - Applied black gloss lacquer to furniture

Journeyman - Qualified tradesman

Mangler - Washerwoman who passed clothes through the rollers of a mangle

Mason - Stone cutter and builder

Monger - Seller of goods prefixed with nature of goods, eg fish-monger, iron-monger

Pauper - Person without money or means

Peuterer - Worker in pewter

Platelayer - Railway worker laying and repairing rails

Quarrier - Quarry worker

Reeler - Mill worker who put the yarns onto reels to weave

Shipwright - Constructor and repairer of ships, a carpenter

Stevedore - Dock worker loading and unloading ships cargo

Stoker - Stoked fuel into a furnace or boiler, eg on a ship or train

Tanner - Curer of animal hides to make leather

Thatcher - Roofer working with natural cut reeds or heather thatch

Turner - A lathe operator, shaping wood or metal

Victualler - Supplier of food and provisions

Warper - Mill loom operator who set the warp thread (yarn) on the looms before weaving

Weaver - Maker of cloth from yarns of wool, cotton, silk etc. Operator of hand loom or textile mill power loom

Yarn bleacher - Bleacher of textile fibres, such as flax

View our list of Causes of Death.