A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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ORDER XXVII.—PERSONS ENGAGED IN PERSONAL SERVICE (including Institutions, Clubs, Hotels, etc.)

900.—Domestic Servants (Indoor)

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attendant, babies', infants', children's (poor law)
washes and dresses babies and young children in poor law institution; serves food, feeds by hand or bottle if necessary; watches health and reports to Matron ailments or accidents; conducts organised games with children.
attendant, larder
assistant to larder cook (q.v.); hands out and puts back food kept in larder, takes meat, poultry, etc., out of pots or pans after cooking; skins chickens; assists in carving and serving up; keeps larder clean, washing shelves, walls and floor periodically; has charge of larder in absence of larder cook.
back house boy
see house boy.
(i) cleans boots and assists generally in private house, e.g. cleans knives and windows, carries coals;
(ii) see hotel porter (917) and night porter (917).
takes charge of food in large private residence; also of wines, liquors and tobacco, when no wine butler is kept; waits at table and answers door; usually in charge of other men servants; cleans plate periodically or supervises cleaning by a member of his staff.
butler, wine ; wine steward
buys wines and spirits of required kinds and vintages in large private residence; stores in wine celler [sic]; keeps clerical record of stock and examines periodically to ensure that wine keeps in good condition; mixes liqueurs and cocktails; supplies wine waiter (916) (q.v.).
cleans and tidies bedrooms, makes beds, etc.; in hotels, hoarding houses, etc., also attends on visitors, takes orders for meals and refreshment required in bedroom and deals with guests' linen.
chambermaid, house-
in small hotels; combines duties of housemaid (q.v.) and chambermaid (q.v.).
chef, chef de cuisine ; cuisinier
highly skilled cook in hotel, club or large household who draws up menus, prepares special dishes and superintends work of other sectional cooks, e.g. pastry cook, soup cook.
college servant
general term to denote a domestic servant in a college, including college porter (917), bed maker (929), gyp (929), scout (929).
companion, companion nurse, lady's companion
lives with employer in a paid capacity; entertains employer with conversation, music or reading; accompanies on walks, drives and journeys; gives assistance in shopping, planning and arranging details of tours, etc.; helps with correspondence and in entertaining guests; frequently acts also as tutor, courier, chaperone or nurse.
a companion (q.v.) who takes some share in domestic work.
prepares and cooks food, e.g. by boiling, roasting, grilling, baking; mixes ingredients of pastry, cakes, sauces, etc.; in small establishments may serve meals and clean utensils; in large establishments, receives assistance for cleaning and scullery work, or is assisted by individual cooks for roast, fish, sauces, pastry, etc., who are specifically designated, according to kind of cookery done, e.g. breakfast cook, fish cook, grill cook, pastry cook, roast cook, sauce cook, soup cook, vegetable cook; of. chef.
cook, apprentice
watches cook (q.v.) in his or her work; receives instructions and assists by handing articles, measuring quantities and performing simple cooking operations; passes in turn through each branch of work, e.g. pastry, roast, soup.
cook, daily
a non-resident cook (q.v.).
cook, larder
stores meat, joints, poultry, etc., in larder or cold store of hotel, etc.; responsible for keeping stores in good condition; hands out stores required to other cooks; keeps clerical record of stock in and out; usually also cooks, serves and may carve joints.
cook, messroom
a cook (q.v.) who prepares and cooks meals for messroom of factory, institution, etc.
combines duties of cook (q.v.) and general (q.v.) in small private house.
combines the duties of cook (q.v.) and housekeeper (q.v.).
counter hand (hotel, restaurant)
see maid, stillroom (hotel, restaurant).
see chef.
daily servant, daily girl, day servant, day girl ; morning girl
a non-resident general servant (q.v.).
farm boy (domestic)
does heavier domestic work in farmhouse, e.g., draws water, chops wood, etc.; may also assist on farm at harvest and other times; of. farm labourer (024).
attends door, carriage, table, etc., cleans silver; may act as valet; sometimes takes working charge of pantry, under supervision of butler (q.v.).
general, general maid, general servant ; maid, maidservant
performs general domestic duties in a small private establishment where only one servant is employed; exact duties vary with size of household and amount of help given by mistress of the house, but may include dusting, scrubbing, washing-up, scullery work, washing and ironing, making beds, plain cooking, shopping, tending children, etc.
general (farm)
a general servant (q.v.) working in a farm house who may also do milking, buttermaking, poultry feeding, etc.
general hand
employed to do any odd job or domestic work in hotel, inn, etc., such as rough cleaning of floors, yards, steps, carrying stores, coals; of. charwoman (922).
grill hand
a cook (q.v.) who cooks or broils meat or fish on a gridiron over coal or coke fire.
groom of the chambers
first footman (q.v.) in large households.
house boy ; back house boy
works in "back house" which includes both kitchen and stables; assists maid servant in cleaning boots, knives, etc.; on farm, sometimes milks cows.
in charge of women servants, and responsible for catering, accounts, selection of staff, stores and linen; in small hotels also allocates visitors to rooms.
housekeeper, working
takes entire working charge of small household; usually employed where there is no mistress; combines duties of housekeeper, cook and general servant (q.v.); may be assisted in rough work by charwoman (922) or daily servant (q.v.); may also do sewing and tend children.
a resident domestic servant (usually one of a staff of two or more servants) whose duties include dusting living rooms, cleaning bedrooms and hall, looking after fires and cleaning silver; frequently also lays and waits at table, assists with mending of household linen, where no parlourmaid (q.v.) is kept; of. general.
a housemaid (q.v.), usually employed in a boarding house, who scrubs and does rougher work than is usually required of a housemaid. .
combines duties of housemaid (q.v.) and waitress (916) (q.v.), usually in a boarding house.
kitchen girl, kitchen worker
see maid, kitchen.
knife boy, knife man
cleans knives, boots, etc., and carries coal.
lady help ; mother's help
an educated woman of similar social standing to employer, who assists in household duties, which vary according to size of establishment and may include supervision of servants, arrangement of rooms and flowers, care of children, needlework, dusting, cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc.
linen attendant, linen keeper
see maid, linen.
maid, maidservant
see general.
maid, basement
see maid, kitchen.
maid, between
assists both cook (q.v.) and housemaid (q.v.); usually a young girl in training.
maid, caller
attends to callers in a large establishment; when hostess is at home, announces names of callers at drawing room door; of. hall maid.
maid, children's
see nurse, under.
maid, china
employed in large establishment, cleaning china, glass, etc.
maid, coffee-room; coffee maid
combines the duties of stillroom maid (q.v.) and waitress (916) (q.v.) for coffee bar.
maid, corridor
cleans and polishes the corridors, bathrooms, etc.; also relieves and assists the chambermaid.
maid, dispense
keeps stock of wines, spirits and liqueurs, also of tea, in hotel; serves out supplies to waiters (916), waitresses (916), stillroom maids, etc.
maid, hall
attends the front door; undertakes various light tasks in the house and gives general assistance to the housekeeper (q.v.); of. caller maid.
maid, head
senior maid of a group in a large establishment; responsible to housekeeper for her own work and that of other maids under her; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., head housemaid, head parlourmaid.
maid, house sewing
see maid, useful.
maid, house table
see parlourmaid, house.
maid, kitchen ; kitchen girl, kitchen worker, basement maid
(i) in large hotels and institutions, prepares, and sometimes cooks, vegetables;
(ii) in small hotels and institutions and large private establishments, cooks staff meals, prepares and cooks vegetables for household; if only one cook is employed, takes her place when she is absent;
(iii) in small private establishments, also cleans kitchen and washes up utensils.
maid, lady's
assists mistress with toilet and does dressmaking, hairdressing, packing, washing and ironing of blouses, lace, etc., mending and darning.
maid, linen; linen room maid ; linen attendant, linen keeper
is responsible for both soiled and clean' linen; counts and checks in and out, both house and visitors' laundry; also darns and renovates linen, unless sewing maid is kept.
maid, mess-room (institution)
lays table, serves food, clears away; scrubs floor of staff messroom, cleans brasses and paint; cleans cutlery and sometimes washes dishes, etc.
maid, mezzanine
a chambermaid (q.v.) who works on mezzanine floor.
maid, odd
in large establishments assists any of the maids as required, doing such work as carrying, cleaning, scrubbing, washing-up.
maid, pantry
in large private establishment or boarding house, lays and waits at table, usually in servants' hall; washes china and glass and cleans up in pantry; cleans some of table silver.
maid, pastry
prepares and cooks pies, tarts and other articles of food, made of pastry.
maid, sandwich
prepares light refreshments for meals other than principal meals; also acts as waitress; a stillroom maid (q.v.) employed in restaurant or buffet mainly engaged in preparation of sandwiches.
maid, schoolroom
does valeting for the older school girls; keeps schoolroom clean and carries up meals; may be required to accompany older school girls out of doors.
maid, scullery
cleans kitchen premises; washes dishes and cooking utensils; may also clean and tidy servants' bedrooms and lay table for staff meals; usually employed only in large private establishment, hotel or institution.
maid, service room
see maid, stillroom (hotels, restaurants).
maid, serving
in hotels and boarding houses conveys food from kitchen to service room; or assists cook to serve food through service hatch; sometimes assists waitress (916) (q.v.) in removing used plates, etc., to scullery.
maid, sitting room
a housemaid (q.v.) in hotel or boarding house whose duties are mainly concerned with sitting room.
maid, staff (hotel)
(i) a chambermaid (q.v.) in bedrooms of hotel staff;
(ii) cleans, lays and clears tables, serves meals in staff dining room; in small hotel combines both sets of duties.
maid, stillroom ; stillroom man
(i) (in private establishment) prepares home-made wines, pickles, preserves, etc.;
(ii) (in hotels, restaurants, etc.) counter hand, service room hand; prepares tea, coffee, sandwiches, toast and various light dishes; is responsible for maintaining hot water supply for beverages; may be required to serve at buffet counter; sometimes cleans crockery for serving counter dishes.
maid, tea
prepares tea and light dishes, also gives assistance to parlourmaid.
maid, useful ; house sewing maid
sews, mends and does a certain amount of valeting; performs light household tasks such as dusting, tidying rooms; in some cases also has care of linen cupboard.
maid, vegetable
a cook (q.v.) who specialises in preparation and cooking of vegetables of all kinds in large establishment where several cooks work under a head cook.
a term used when both a man and woman servant are required to give domestic service in the same household; man employed on a variety of duties (butler, gardener, porter, etc.), woman usually doing cooking and general household duties.
master's servant (workhouse)
waits on, attends to personal needs and cleans quarters of workhouse master.
morning girl
see daily servant.
mother's help
(i) see nurse, domestic;
(ii) see lady help.
nurse, children's
see nurse, domestic.
nurse, daily
a non-resident domestic nurse (q.v.).
nurse, domestic ; children's nurse, mother's help, nursemaid, nurse sewing maid
takes charge of children or babies; washes, dresses them and takes them out; prepares any special foods for them; sews, mends, darns, cleans nursery, and does children's washing if required.
combines duties of domestic nurse and housemaid (q.v.).
see nurse, domestic.
nurse sewing maid
see nurse, domestic.
nurse, under ; children's maid
does housemaid's work in nursery; assists and waits on head nurse (see nurse, domestic); does rougher work such as children's washing.
nurse, wet
a nurse (q.v.) who takes the place of the mother in breast feeding very young babies.
nursery governess
a woman teacher, resident in a private household, entrusted with care, management, and education of children under school age in the nursery.
odd man
as for handyman (929).
page, page boy
runs errands, waits on door, performs occasional household duties; cf. door boy (917), hall boy (917).
pantryman, pantry boy
(i) in large private establishments helps to clean table silver, cleans boots, cleans pantry, makes up fires and carries coals in front part of house; works under direction of butler (q.v.);
(ii) in hotels cleans glasses and pots in pantry and sometimes does work of scullery man (q.v.).
parlourmaid ; tablemaid
has charge of china, silver and glass; lays table for all meals and waits at luncheon and dinner; attends to living and reception rooms; answers front door bell and announces visitors; occasionally mends and darns table linen; may be required to carve and have knowledge of wines, and to undertake valeting; usually employed in private and boarding houses where there are no footmen.
parlourmaid, house ; house table maid (in Scotland)
in small households combines the duties of housemaid (q.v.) and table or parlourmaid (q.v.) where only a cook and a maid are kept.
cleans plate, silver, etc., by means of plate powder or liquid applied with plate brushes; polishes with chamois leather; in private house work usually done by footman (q.v.); in hotels may operate plate cleaning machine, i.e., places articles in revolving barrel with powder, switches on electric current and removes polished articles after a fixed time, giving final polish with brush and cloth.
porter ; house porter
attends at outer door of large private house, receives tradesmen, prevents entrance of unauthorised persons, tramps, etc.
porter, kitchen
(i) acts as general porter for kitchen, carries in meat, vegetables, water, etc.;
(ii) in a residential college, carries meals to students in their rooms or lodgings.
porter, scullery
a house porter (q.v.) who does heavy work in scullery, carrying water coals, etc.; assists scullery maid in cleaning premises.
a kitchen maid (q.v.) or boy principally employed in cleaning cooking utensils.
scullery man
as for maid, scullery.
service room hand
see maid, stillroom.
steward, house
manages domestic concerns, supervises servants, collects rents or income, keeps accounts, etc.
steward, wine
see butler, wine.
stillroom man
see maid, stillroom.
(i) see parlourmaid;
(ii) waits at table in staff dining room.
(i) undertakes personal duties for his employer; assists with toilet, looks after clothes, packing, etc.;
(ii) at fiats is employed by proprietor of set of service flats to valet for tenants.
waitress, house
in small hotels combines duties of housemaid (q.v.) and waitress (916) (q.v.).
wardmaid (hospital, etc.)
scrubs and polishes floors, dusts, cleans brasses and fireplaces; makes up fires, washes up dishes used in hospital wards.
wardrobe keeper (schools, etc.)
assists matron of boarding school by taking charge of pupils' clothing; does necessary mending; prepares clothes for despatch to laundry.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.