I came across this handy web-link offering an extensive glossary of c. 1890 trades and occupations. It's arranged alphabetically, with the Victorian term on one side and its modern equivalent/description on the other.
I thought this might be a helpful resource for all those involved in Ripper research, whether one is trying to interpret the occupations listed on old census forms, reading old news articles and transcripts, etc.
The website is titled 'The 1891 London Census Transcription'.
Very interesting thread. Somewhere, ages ago, there was a list of Victorian euphemisms for prostitute, noted, I believe in 1881 and 1891 censuses. The list was surprisingly long I vaguely recall.
As a small sideline, I have remembered a line my Gran used for loose change or payment to in coins.
"Ive a bit of sausage in me sailor" was contrived Cockney for
"Ive a bit of cash in my purse"
For those confused- Sausage and Mash = cash, Sailor's curse= purse.
Regular users of Cockney 'halved' the rhyming slang to make it even less understandable. In more recent times it is done more often than it used to be.
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Last edited by Phil Carter : 04-14-2012 at 01:12 PM.
I do know a fagetter was a man who sold firewood (it came up in a pub quiz recently!)...that and cordwainer are the only two I can swear to without looking them up or googling...I think Platelayer may be a railway navvy engaged on laying track, Dexter has left-handed connotations, the others (Jack, Wabster and Wonky-Scoop) I coukdn't even begin to guess