If you read a list of professions from earlier times, it reads like
a roster of surnames. That's because people were strongly identified by
what they did for a living (as opposed to now, when we pay attention to
what's on their iPod). John Smith was a person named John who worked as
a blacksmith; Bill Sawyer was a lumberjack, and so on. In India, in the
Parsee community, you'll find people with surnames such as Contractor,
Doctor, Engineer, etc.
While the meanings of many surnames, like Smith, Baker, and Butler, are
obvious, there are many others whose origins are not as well-known. This
week we pick five professions of yesteryears that now exist mostly as last
chapman (CHAP-man) noun
A peddler; a merchant.
[From Old English ceapman, from ceap (trade, bargain), from Latin caupo
(shopkeeper or innkeeper) + man. The German equivalent is Kaufmann,
Today's word in Visual Thesaurus: http://visualthesaurus.com/?w1=chapman
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