charwoman

\ \ [16] A charwoman is, quite literally, a woman who does ‘chores’. Chore is a variant of the now obsolete noun chare or char, which meant literally ‘turn’ (it derived from the Old English verb cerran, which may be the source of charcoal). Hence ‘doing one’s turn’, ‘one’s turn at work’ in due course advanced its meaning to ‘job’. Already by the 15th century it had connotations of menial or household jobs: ‘making the beds and such other chares’, Nicholas Love, Bonaventura’s Mirror 1410.
\ \ Cf.AJAR, CHORE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charwoman — Char wom an (ch[^a]r w[oo^]m an), n.; pl. {Charwomen} (ch[^a]r w[i^]m [e^]n). [See {Char} a chore.] A woman hired for odd work or for single days. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • charwoman — (n.) 1590s, from M.E. char, cherre turn of work (see CHORE (Cf. chore)) + WOMAN (Cf. woman) …   Etymology dictionary

  • charwoman — ► NOUN Brit. dated ▪ a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office. ORIGIN from obsolete char or chare «a chore» …   English terms dictionary

  • charwoman — [chär′woom΄ən] n. pl. charwomen [chär′wim΄in] [see CHARE, CHORE] a woman who does general cleaning, as in office buildings …   English World dictionary

  • charwoman — UK [ˈtʃɑː(r)ˌwʊmən] / US [ˈtʃɑrˌwʊmən] noun [countable] Word forms charwoman : singular charwoman plural charwomen UK [ˈtʃɑː(r)ˌwɪmɪn] / US [ˈtʃɑrˌwɪmɪn] British old fashioned a woman whose job is to clean a building, especially someone else s… …   English dictionary

  • charwoman — [16] A charwoman is, quite literally, a woman who does ‘chores’. Chore is a variant of the now obsolete noun chare or char, which meant literally ‘turn’ (it derived from the Old English verb cerran, which may be the source of charcoal). Hence… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • charwoman — [[t]tʃɑ͟ː(r)wʊmən[/t]] charwomen N COUNT A charwoman is a woman who is employed to clean houses or offices. [BRIT, OLD FASHIONED] Syn: cleaner …   English dictionary

  • charwoman — noun Etymology: chare + woman Date: 1596 a cleaning woman especially in a large building …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • charwoman — /chahr woom euhn/, n., pl. charwomen. a woman hired to do general cleaning, esp. in an office or large house. [1590 1600; CHAR3 + WOMAN] * * * …   Universalium

  • charwoman — noun A woman employed to do housework. Syn: cinderella, cleaning woman …   Wiktionary

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