Dictionary of Old and Obsolete Occupations - W

A wheelwright building a wagon wheel
A wheelwright builds and repairs wagon wheels, carriages, etc. for a living.

Latitudestock/Getty Images

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 W are generally now considered old or obsolete, although some of these occupational terms are still in use today.

Wabster - weaver

Wadding maker - maker of wadding (usually made of old rags or cotton) for stuffing upholstered furniture

Wafer maker - maker of church communion wafers

Wagoner / Waggoner - teamster not for hire. The WAGNER surname is the 7th most common name in Germany.

Wailer - Mine worker who removed impure rocks in a coal mine

Wain house proprietor - owner of a building where wagons could be parked for a fee

Wainius - ploughman

Wainwright - wagon maker

Waiter - customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in

Waitman - Nightwatchman who guarded the gates of a city, usually marking the hours with the ringing of a small bell

Waker - A person whose job was to wake workers in time for early morning work

Walker / Waulker - fuller; cloth trampler or cleaner. The WALKER surname is the 28th most popular name in the United States.

Waller - 1) Specialist in building walls; 2) salt maker. The WALLER surname is one variation of WALL.

Wardcorn - Watchman armed with a horn for sounding the alarm on the event of intruders or trouble. Common during medieval times.

Warker - Specialist at building walls, embattlements, and embankments

Warper / Warp Beamer - a textile worker who arranged the individual yarns which created the "warp" of the fabric upon a large cylinder called a beam.

Water bailiff - 1) A custom's officer who searched ships as they came into port; 2) one employed to protect fisheries from poachers

Water carter / Water carrier - Someone who sold fresh water from a traveling cart

Waterguard - customs officer

Wattle hurdle maker - one who made a special type of fence from wattle to contain sheep

Weatherspy - astrologer

Webber / Webster - weaver; operator of looms. The WEBER surname is the 6th most common German name.

Wet nurse - A women who feeds the children of others with her own breast milk (usually for a fee)

Wetter - either one who dampened paper during the printing process, or one in the glass industry who detached glass by wetting

Wharfinger - a person who owned or was in charge of a wharf

Wheel tapper -  a railway worker who checked for cracked wheels by striking them with a long-handled hammer and listening to their ring

Wheelwright - builder and repairer of wagon wheels, carriages etc.

Wheeryman - one in charge of a wheery (light rowboat)

Whey cutter - a worker in the cheese industry

Whiffler - an officer who went before an army or procession to clear the way by blowing a horn or trumpet

Whipcorder - a maker of whips

Whipperin - in charge of managing the hounds in a hunt

Whisket weaver - basket maker

White cooper - one who makes barrels from tin or other light metals

White limer - one who painted walls and fences with white lime

Whitesmith - tinsmith; worker of tin who finishes or polishes the work

Whitewing - street sweeper

Whitster - bleacher of cloth

Willow plaiter - one who made baskets

Wing coverer - a worker who covered airplane wings with linen fabric

Wonkey scooper - person who operated a scoop-type contraption from a horse

Woolcomber - one who operated machines that separate fibers for spinning in the woolen industry

Woolen billy piercer - worked in a woolen mill to piece together broken yarns

Wool man / Wool sorter - one who sorted wool into different grades

Wright - a skilled worker in various trades. The WRIGHT surname is the 34th most common name in the United States.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Dictionary of Old and Obsolete Occupations - W." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/dictionary-of-old-occupations-w-3987902. Powell, Kimberly. (2021, February 16). Dictionary of Old and Obsolete Occupations - W. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/dictionary-of-old-occupations-w-3987902 Powell, Kimberly. "Dictionary of Old and Obsolete Occupations - W." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/dictionary-of-old-occupations-w-3987902 (accessed July 27, 2021).