Dictionary of Old Occupations - Occupations That Begin with S

The old occupation "snobscat" or "snob" actually denotes a cobbler, or repairer of shoes.
The old occupation "snobscat" or "snob" actually denotes a cobbler, or repairer of shoes. Getty / Zero Creatives

The occupations found recorded in documents from prior centuries often appear unusual or foreign when compared to the occupations of today. The following occupations beginning with S are generally now considered old or obsolete.

Saddler - maker and repairer of saddles and bridles

Saddle Tree Maker - one who creates the wooden frame for a horse saddle

Salter - one who makes or deals in salt

Sandler - sandle maker

Savant - servant

Sawbones - physician

Sawyer - sawer of wood; carpenter

Scabbler - person who uses a scabbler (pick) to trim the sides of a tunnel

Scappler - responsible for rough-shaping stone before final dressing by a stonemason 

Schumacker - shoemaker or cobbler

Scribler / Scribbler - minor or worthless author

Scrivener - scribe or clerk; professional or public copyist or writer; notary public

Scrutiner - election judge

Scutcher / Skutcher - one who beat flax to extract linen fibers from flax stems

Seinter - girdle maker

Servitor - a clerk or secretary

Sewer rat - a bricklayer who specialized in making and repairing sewers and tunnels

Sexton - a church caretaker, sometimes responsible for digging graves

Sharecropper - a tenant farmer who is allowed to farm (and sometimes live on) another's land in return for a percentage share of the crops produced on their portion of land

Shearer - sheared wool from sheep

Shearman - one who raised the surface of woolen cloth and then sheared it to a smooth 
surface; cutter of woolen cloth; sometimes a cutter of metal

Shepster - dressmaker or sheep shearer

Ship chandler - a dealer in supplies and equipment for ships and boats, known as "ship stores"

Shrieve / Shriever - sheriff

Shunter - railway worker responsible for coupling train cars and carriages; also known as a switcher

Sickleman - a reaper

Silk drawer - one who "drew" silk from silk waste for spinning

Skepper / Skelper - beehive maker or seller 

Skinner - a flayer of animal hides for leather

Slagger - a worker in a steel mill responsible for removing slag from a furnace during the smelting process.

Slater / Slatter - roofer; tiler

Slopseller - seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop

Slubber - a worker in a cotton or textile mill, responsible for removing the "slubs" or imperfections in the yarn prior to weaving

Sluicer - one who tended the sluice in a mine (often a gold or silver mine)

Smith - a metal worker, usually a blacksmith. See also the surname SMITH.

Snobscat / Snob - shoe repairer; cobbler

Sojourner - a traveler or traveling merchant; sometimes used to refer to a temporary (non-permanent) resident of a parish

Soper - soapmaker

Sorter - tailor

Sperviter - a keeper of sparrow hawks

Spicer - a grocer or dealer in spices

Spinster - unmarried woman; spinner (female)

Spit boy -  a kitchen worker responsible for turning spits in the fireplace so food would cook evenly

Spittleman - hospital attendant

Spurrer / Spurrier - maker of spurs

Squire - country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace

Staymaker - a maker of bone stays for corsets

Stevedore - a dock worker or laborer who loads and unloads ship's cargos.

Stoddard - a breeder or keeper of horses

Stone cutter - possibly a stone mason, but often a carver of tombstones

Stoner - mason

Stuff Gown / Stuff Gownsman - junior barrister

Surveyor - one who estimates or measures areas of land

Switcher - railway worker responsible for coupling train cars and carriages; also known as a shunter

Explore more old and obsolete occupations and trades in our free Dictionary of Old Occupations and Trades!