What Does That Mean?

Question markWhile doing some research for a client I came across an occupation that I had never heard of. The man was listed as being a “burler”. A what? I am sure I could have come up with a few definitions of what I thought this occupation was but I would have been very wrong with all of them. So after a quick search on the internet I discovered that a “burler” was 1: one that removes loose threads, knots, and other imperfections from cloth 2: one that inspects rugs before the finishing process and mends minor imperfections in rugs. Honestly, I never would have guessed that!

It got me to thinking about some of the other odd names or expressions that we Genealogists come across during our research.  Some of them are actually quite funny. Why not have some fun with this? I will list 10 words we may come across that are not commonly known and you can choose one of the multi choice definitions. At the end you will find the correct answers and you can then tally up your score. Good luck!

1. “Jackalent”

a. A coat of mail

b. A foolish fellow

c. A figure outside old clocks on public buildings and strikes the clocks bell

2. “Twindles”

a. Twins

b. A tool used by a Wheelwright

c. A “sure cure” for constipation

3. “Grondy”

a. An African Storyteller

b. An English coin

c. A Grandmother

4. “Cowdy”

a. Someone who is afraid of something

b. A Cowboy who only herds cows

c. A small cow

5. “Busker”

a. Someone who husks corn

b. An entertainer who danced, sang or recited on streets or public places

c. A tool used by a tanner

6. “Stockinger”

a. A person who knits or weaves stockings

b. A tool used by a boot maker

c. A measure of weight

7. “Dilling”

a. A person who digs ditches

b. A baby born to older parents

c. A sailor

8. “Codman”

a. A dealer in Codfish

b. A chest maker

c. A lamplighter

9. “Acater”

a. An agreement to the terms named

b. A falconer

c. A caterer; a purveyor of goods

10. “Sheepbiter”

a. A petty thief

b. A person who enjoys mutton meat

c. A womanizer

Since this is for fun there is no grading system. I hope you enjoyed this and maybe even had a laugh or two. I think in a hundred years our Descendants will be having to look up some of our commonly used words and will probably get a kick out of the definitions also!

Answers: 1) b   2) a   3)c   4)c   5)b   6)a   7)b   8)a   9) c   10)a,b,c

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.



Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Quiz

9 responses to “What Does That Mean?

  1. Mom

    I would have totally guess misspelled “butler” or some who faux burled wood…never the rug thing. And the others were tough too!

  2. ruthrawls

    I only got one right! Very good quiz! Seriously, all the answers looked promising.

  3. Boy, that was tough! One of the toughest Genealogy quizzes yet. 🙂

    • I was surprised to find the definitions of some of these words. Most I never would have guess correctly. Thankfully the book I got them out of listed them in alphbetical order!

      Thanks for reading the blog.


  4. I only got three right. Guess I need to work on my ancient occupations. Fun post.

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