You work on stringed instruments so you are a luthier...
April 22, 2012 2:25 PM   Subscribe

What is your crafty job title?

What are other occupation names like that? What are some occupations that seem like they'd have a special name for the person who works in that field but does not? Is a clock maker just a clock maker? Or is there a cool name for that?

My housemate and I have been talking about this over breakfast the last couple mornings and we thought all y'all would be able to help us.
posted by rainperimeter to Grab Bag (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Off the top of my head I know a fletcher makes arrows and a cobbler makes shoes. I found this list and this one which have quite a few more.
posted by sacrifix at 2:35 PM on April 22, 2012

My favorite is definitely a haberdasher, a person who sells small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons, zips, and other notions.
posted by Strass at 2:38 PM on April 22, 2012

There's a Sporcle quiz on this topic.
posted by solotoro at 2:41 PM on April 22, 2012

You could call a clockmaker an Uhrmacher. Just like luthier, it's just using another language's word for the item crafted. You can do this ad nauseum with anything by looking up words in foreign dictionaries, and perhaps Googling your concoction to see if it's actually being used.
posted by michaelh at 2:43 PM on April 22, 2012

A cooper makes barrels.
posted by contraption at 2:45 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

A cheesemonger mongs (deal, trades in) cheese. Also, iron-, fish-, war-.
posted by rtha at 2:49 PM on April 22, 2012

A milliner makes hats, a farrier shoes horses (it used to be a more general blacksmithing term, though)
posted by brainmouse at 2:51 PM on April 22, 2012

The railroad commissioners of Texas regulate the oil and gas industry. Go figure. :P
posted by huxham at 2:54 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

steamfitter - assembles high pressure steam plumbing
millwright - sets up heavy machinery in a mill
wainwright - makes wagons
posted by Bruce H. at 2:55 PM on April 22, 2012

A clockmaker is a horologist.
posted by mdrew at 2:57 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by phrontist at 3:02 PM on April 22, 2012

Cordwainers or Cordovans make leather shoes. Broderers embroider. Paviors lay paving.

Check out the wiki for Livery Companies for some more interesting ones. I think my personal favorite is Lightmonger for people who sell lights.
posted by Garm at 3:23 PM on April 22, 2012

A flenser is someone who cleans the blubber off of whales which I know from an old Judy Blume book. I've always liked some of the older job titles like hog reeve, and pounder.
posted by jessamyn at 3:24 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm not sure if anyone is doing this job anymore, but the folks who used to cut and paste negatives and film in the publishing industry were/are known as strippers.
posted by apparently at 3:30 PM on April 22, 2012

You're a colorist if you are responsible for color correcting movies and tv show footage.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:32 PM on April 22, 2012

What you're talking about is sort of term of art, except for job titles. I don't know if there is a specific word for that but my favourite is Foley editor.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:39 PM on April 22, 2012

Ink-stained wretch=writer. (I know, right? Who uses ink anymore?
posted by Lynsey at 4:05 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

the film industry has lots of these - like a gaffer - the head of the electrical department; key grip - head of the grip, or rigging department; best boy - the lead assistant to each of those people
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:07 PM on April 22, 2012

Wildcatters drill and operate oil wells outside of recognized oilfields.

This isn't your question, but you probably noticed that many common last names are occupational surnames. Wikipedia has a list. Many of them aren't really alternate or non-obvious terms, though:

Bowyer: makes bows
Collier: makes charcoal--which is difficult enough to do right that it used to be a profession--or mine coal (and, maybe, make coke, which is to coal as charcoal is to wood).
Cook: cook
Smith: smith
Ferrari: smith in italy
Clark: clerk
Carter: operates carts
Cartwright: makes carts
Chandler: makes candles
Draper: cloth merchant
Faulkner: falconer
Glaser: glazier (works with glass)
Granger: a farm's bailiff, collected taxes for the lord
Parker: manages a park
Sherman: shearer (shear-man)
Turner: operates a lathe

cobbler makes shoes.

Cobblers actually repair shoes, while cordwainers make them, as noted above. The distinction was lost subsequent to the rise of mass-produced and mass-marketed shoes.
posted by pullayup at 4:26 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

My favourite is a mazer, someone who makes mead
posted by brilliantmistake at 4:37 PM on April 22, 2012

I almost forgot my favorite!

Leadbetter: makes things from lead (lead-beater)
posted by pullayup at 4:48 PM on April 22, 2012

A flueologist sweeps chimneys.
posted by turkeyphant at 4:55 PM on April 22, 2012

>>millwright - sets up heavy machinery in a mill
wainwright - makes wagons

I always have to tell my English classes that it's 'playwright' not 'playwrite'

i.e. a crafter of plays, not a writer of them.
posted by man down under at 5:29 PM on April 22, 2012

Ok, this is Spanish, but a hilador or hiladora is a spinner (someone who makes yarn or string). I just think it's a lovely word.

I think a "flenser" is someone who skins anything, not just whales.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 8:11 PM on April 22, 2012

I do museum work with preparators (they make any mounts needed for artwork/artifacts, and install same), and conservators (who evaluate/restore/determine conditions for display).
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:14 PM on April 22, 2012

Here's a very currrent one: I "translate" US English into UK English: I'm a localiser. Or localizer, of course.
posted by LyzzyBee at 11:14 PM on April 22, 2012

Whoa! This is great. I left for work shortly after posing this question and just got back. You all were busy! Thanks everybody. This will be looked over in the a.m with the housemate.
posted by rainperimeter at 12:36 AM on April 23, 2012

Another common last name that is a job description: Brewster is a female brewer.
posted by _paegan_ at 6:49 AM on April 23, 2012

A stevedore loads and unloads ships, and a teamster drives trucks.
posted by contraption at 5:30 PM on April 23, 2012

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