If you discovered your great, great grandfather was a fripperer, would you know what he did for a living? What about a quarrel picker? Or a ganneker? Many old occupations have faded into oblivion while others are still in existence but have very different titles. You don’t need to scratch your head and wonder what the heck these jobs involved, head over to the Old Occupations website where you will find an easy to navigate dictionary listing hundreds of job titles.
I did notice that some of the jobs are not what you would call respectable. For example, I suspect you are more likely to find a fancy woman (a, umm, lady of easy virtue) on court transcripts than in the census. On the other hand, some sound quite dodgy, but are in fact legitimate occupations, such as a faker. Not a forger or a conman, but a photographers assistant.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, here are the definitions of the first three I listed:
Fripperer: Bought and sold old clothes and fripperies
Quarrel picker: Glazier
Ganneker: An Inn keeper