Ye Olde Professions Quiz

Guess the names of these professions from the Middle Ages.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: August 18, 2014
First submittedJanuary 24, 2012
Times taken68,153
Rating4.65
5:00
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 / 28 guessed
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Description
Profession
Works with iron or steel
Blacksmith
Makes bread
Baker
Makes clothes
Tailor
Grinds grain into flour
Miller
Turns base metals to gold
Alchemist
Builds using stone or brick
Mason
Amuses the king
Jester
Makes beer
Brewer
Makes leather
Tanner
Makes barrels
Cooper
Traveling poet/singer
Bard
Sells fish
Fishmonger
Herds sheep
Shepherd
Cares for horses
Groom
Description
Profession
Cuts timber into boards
Sawyer
Works with lead
Plumber
Makes candles
Chandler
Makes wagons
Wainwright
Milks cows (female)
Milkmaid
Assists in the birth of a child (female)
Midwife
Manages household servants
Butler
Prepares and sells meat
Butcher
Drives a team of animals
Teamster
Sells medicine
Apothecary
Makes, sells and repairs fur
Furrier
Carries luggage
Porter
Repairs shoes
Cobbler
Sews clothes (female)
Seamstress
+3
Level 58
Jan 24, 2012
what about "apothecarist" - I've heard that in addition to apothecary.
+6
Level ∞
Jun 25, 2014
Ok
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
Im not sure what I think, but I think apotheker among other things... didnt know what to make of it in english
+1
Level 67
Mar 1, 2020
(Think=typed? In previous comment) again tried everything but a correct word. Apotheker, apothecer, apothecre, apothecar, apothecry, and some more variations plus chemist and doctor.
+1
Level 72
Jan 24, 2012
great quiz
+13
Level 85
Jan 24, 2012
It's cool how many of these old professions are now common last names. A bit surprised that the world's oldest profession didn't make its way into the quiz, though. :)
+1
Level 80
Aug 10, 2014
Farmer is a very common last name.
+1
Level 45
Jul 13, 2015
How did people pay for prostitutes if it was the oldest profession I wonder.
+5
Level 80
Mar 14, 2018
it's not. The oldest occupation in the world is hunter/gatherer. The oldest profession amongst civilized humans is farmer. Agriculture gave rise to the concept of wealth since for the first time it was possible to accumulate more than you needed to survive (in this case, grain). It's possible that the first person to receive payment for work was receiving payment for sex. If that's the case then it's likely payment was made in surplus grain. Barter systems prevailed after that for a variety of different things. Currency was not invented until thousands of years later.
+2
Level 49
Mar 14, 2018
with teeth
+1
Level 81
Jun 25, 2018
With bones.
+4
Level 78
Sep 25, 2016
If I had a dollar for everybody I've ever met with the last name Fishmonger....
+4
Level 60
Mar 14, 2018
no, but Fisher and Fischer are pretty common.
+2
Level 47
Jun 15, 2019
than you would probably be broke
+1
Level 52
Aug 2, 2018
What about T.J. Hooker?
+2
Level 81
Jan 24, 2012
what about cordwainer - a person who makes rather than repairs shoes
+1
Level 78
Jan 24, 2012
very fun!
+1
Level 71
Jan 24, 2012
An old professions quiz that doesn't even include the oldest profession of them all? Pfft.
+1
Level 50
Jan 24, 2012
LOL tramp
+1
Level 38
Jan 24, 2012
Isn't Apothecary the place where you buy medicine and not a profession? I also agree that Minstrel should be accepted.
+2
Level ∞
Jan 24, 2012
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apothecary
+1
Level 41
Feb 11, 2012
A person who makes wagons is also a wagoner (waggoner, wagner) or a cartwright, and a person who drives animals is also a drover.
+1
Level ∞
Jun 25, 2014
Cartwright would have worked
+1
Level 78
Oct 11, 2016
I think wagoner is someone who drives wagons, isn't it? I tried wright, millwright, wheelwright, - I knew I was close but just couldn't go the last mile. Great quiz, BTW.
+1
Level 53
May 20, 2019
Bonanza
+1
Level 58
Mar 13, 2012
i thought monger should work
+1
Level 53
Apr 13, 2014
"Monger" is usually a suffix, as in "fishmonger" or "ironmonger".
+2
Level 88
Jul 11, 2014
Also rumormonger. The -monger suffix denotes one who deals in the commodity it is affixed to, so monger by it's own wouldn't answer the clue.
+1
Level 64
Feb 5, 2017
Or "Costermonger" :)
+1
Level 53
Nov 9, 2018
cheesemonger
+1
Level 45
Jul 26, 2019
Blessed are the cheese makers
+1
Level 28
Jun 30, 2012
I am not a middle age expert but... works with beer : brew master? And also I am thinking on the drug one: chemist or dispenser should work.
+1
Level 20
Sep 14, 2012
Somehow didn't figure out tailor
+1
Level 64
Jan 20, 2014
Clothier should work too.
+1
Level 82
May 16, 2014
I didn't either. And I knew or could've guessed several of the others I didn't get. Possibly. Only a couple I hadn't heard of, but Taylor is the one that annoys me. Possibly Sawyer as well. (Both being bodyguards in 50 shades of Grey.. :P)
+1
Level 40
Jan 5, 2013
For works with iron or steel I believe ironmonger should also be acceptable.
+1
Level 64
Jan 20, 2014
Ironmonger would be someone who sells or trades iron or steel, not the person actually working with or making it.
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
wrong, what you say it means is its later added meaning.
+1
Level 44
Jun 4, 2015
No such thing as steel in Mediaeval times.
+2
Level 56
Nov 14, 2016
yes there was!
+2
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
I beleive you are thinking about the stone age? The knights sure didnt fight with wooden swords :D
+1
Level 47
Feb 22, 2013
No thatcher or fletcher?
+2
Level 35
Mar 14, 2020
it's a shame i know
+1
Level 13
Apr 28, 2013
very nice :) you could add carpenter and sailor...
+1
Level 72
May 23, 2013
Based on your "female equivalent words quiz" I am slightly disappointed that "Fishwife" was not acceptable for the "Sells fish" question.
+1
Level ∞
Jun 25, 2014
That will work now.
+1
Level 35
Oct 1, 2013
A lot of these are first names which entertains me. Cooper, Tanner, Mason, Sawyer, Tailor (obviously spelt Taylor)... Some of them are even last names too.
+3
Level 80
Aug 12, 2014
all of those were last names before they became first names.
+1
Level 25
Nov 1, 2013
should allow barwench ;)
+1
Level 34
Feb 25, 2014
I put "sartor" for the first one, thought it was old-fashioned-er than "tailor".
+1
Level 52
Mar 2, 2014
A groom is also a farrier or an ossler; a person who builds fortifications was an engineer (a fortification builder was differentiated from a bridge builder by calling the latter a "civil" engineer); a teamster is also called a drover or driver.
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2019
And more likely to be in UK as we don't use the term teamster.
+1
Level 74
Mar 9, 2014
A farrier also cares for horses.
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
Doesnt a farrier not only take cares of the hooves & horseshoes
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
I tried stableboy and page among other things
+1
Level 43
Apr 19, 2014
What, no milliner? and what about haberdasher for the clothing maker?
+1
Level 76
Aug 7, 2016
Haberdashery and clothes-making are different things.
+1
Level 45
Apr 19, 2014
could have had Fletcher, Mercer, Chamberlain, Thatcher, Tinker
+1
Level 76
May 7, 2014
That was difficult! Well done.
+1
Level 55
Jun 11, 2014
wrangler also works for horse tender
+6
Level 78
Jul 3, 2014
Look, it's the baby boy names quiz from 2004! Or the baby girl names quiz from 2009! All the same.
+1
Level 58
Feb 10, 2015
like ^
+2
Level 82
Aug 10, 2014
Fun quiz! Based on the picture, I thought for sure luthier (one who makes stringed instruments) would be one of the answers.
+1
Level 54
Aug 10, 2014
Fun quiz thanks. Could you accept ostler as someone who looks after horses?
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2019
Thank you as that is what I immediately came up with. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ostler
+1
Level 50
Aug 11, 2014
One of the few things that old RPG Runescape taught me...
+1
Level 60
Aug 12, 2014
Loved this quiz! Thanks so much!
+1
Level 39
Aug 12, 2014
What's with the picture of Ron Weasley?
+1
Level 43
Aug 27, 2014
i have to disagree about prostitute being brought up as the oldest profession. A prostitute accepts pay for performing sexual services. While I'm sure that a caveman offering a haunch of dead something helped his chances with a cavewoman this isn't true payment or even a profession. Prostitution as it is commonly know couldn't have exited until humanity moved past the hunter-gatherer stage and started to become more agricultural. You would need a large community of people with a fair amount of surplus before services like prostitution could become a way to fully support oneself and therefore become a profession. I'd say that hunter-gatherer is realistically the oldest profession. Wow, I put way too much thought into this :)
+1
Level 80
Sep 12, 2014
The concepts of wealth, property, and being able to pay for things because you had so much of one thing that you could spare a little to get something else... all did not exist prior to farming and agriculture which marked the shift from pure subsistence living to something akin to civilization. So, necessarily, farmer predates all other professions if you're going to define profession as something you're paid to do. But hunter/gatherer I guess could be labeled the first "occupation"- as this is what occupied pretty much 100% of our time before 12,000 years ago.
+1
Level 75
Jan 20, 2015
Great idea for a quiz. But Butler is definitely not correct -- in the Middle Ages the butler was the person in charge of 'butts of beer' -- nothing to do with managing servants (this is a much later definition). Please change it to House Steward or House Keeper or something more suitable. If you feel like expanding your quiz, you could add scullion, scribe, armorer, spinster, potter, marshal, knight, squire, herbalist, fletcher (made bows and arrows), carpenter, barber (they cut hair as well as did dentistry and some surgery)....
+2
Level 58
Feb 10, 2015
Uhm, not "butts" of beer, but "botelier", bottles of wine and port.
+1
Level 58
Feb 10, 2015
Isn't someone who makes wagons, a "carter"?
+1
Level 44
Jun 4, 2015
No, he just drives it.
+1
Level 63
Sep 6, 2015
I'm pretty sure this use of bard is incorrect. You mean a minstrel. Bards are only like that in fantasy. Historically, bards were Celtic poets and the name also gets applied to Homer and Shakespeare. They didn't travel around singing in medieval times.
+2
Level 52
Oct 5, 2015
In the UK and Australia, midwives can be male.
+2
Level 49
Nov 14, 2016
Yup. The word 'midwife' is derived from the Old English for 'with woman.' The word itself isn't gendered.
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
Cool I didnt know that, I see it now (in most if not all germanic languages besides english a variation of - mid is still used for "with": mit, met, med, með )
+1
Level 69
Nov 8, 2018
It's doubtful they were male in medieval times, though.
+1
Level 34
Sep 9, 2020
Most professions were male in medieval times, and you don't feel the need to append "(male)" to them all. The word "midwife" has absolutely no meaning of being male or female, as a matter of fact, so it is incorrect to state "(female)" above. In fact it is a bit offensive that a predominantly female profession should be marked as an oddity, while a predominantly male profession raises no eyebrows.
+1
Level 69
Oct 14, 2015
Many of these still exist though
+1
Level 59
Nov 4, 2015
Absolutely many still exist, and I think people who work in these professions would be insulted to hear their skills referred to as being from the Middle Ages.
+1
Level 82
Apr 23, 2016
A lot of people in the Middle Ages were more skilled at these things than people are today. Some methods have changed surprisingly little if at all.
+2
Level 68
Dec 9, 2015
A furrier doesn't make fur. Biological processes in animals do
+2
Level 82
Apr 23, 2016
I find the description for "alchemist" a bit worrysome. For all the others it's what they actually do. For alchemist it is what they are trying to do. No alchemist ever succeeded in turning base metals into gold, it's just not possible.
+2
Level 53
Nov 9, 2018
Definitely, there was no such profession
+1
Level 70
Jul 26, 2019
I disagree. Whilst it's obviously true that alchemists never discovered how to turn base metals into gold (along with creating a panacea or achieving immortality), they did make pretty significant strides in other fields, namely chemistry, philosophy and medicine. They were well funded by the elite and even the state in some cases, and were certainly considered to be legitimate professionals at the time. In fact, the view that these people were fraudsters probably only arose around the 18th Century with the rise of modern science.
+1
Level 51
Apr 14, 2020
"Didn't turn base metals into gold" would be a better description :-D
+2
Level 62
Nov 14, 2016
Vin Baker, Tyshawn Taylor, Reggie Miller, Anthony Mason, Corey Brewer, Michael Cooper, Otto Porter, Jimmy Butler, Tyson Chandler, and Adam Wainwright are just some professional athletes I can name off the top of my head.
+1
Level 62
Nov 14, 2016
Superb quiz! All jobs still available in India!
+1
Level 81
Nov 14, 2016
A few of my ancestors were cordwainers - shoe makers.
+1
Level 64
Nov 14, 2016
I thought a chandler was something to do with ropes?
+1
Level 64
Nov 14, 2016
Kind of. A ship's chandler specialises in equipment for ships - including ropes and twines, as well as lots of other things such as tools and oils – so above and beyond the wax, candles and soap a traditional chandler would deal with.
+1
Level 70
Nov 14, 2016
I tried haberdasher and clothier for tailor... could not think of tailor.
+1
Level 53
Nov 14, 2016
shoulda known the lead one cause its symbol is Pb...comes from like Plumbous or Plumbic i never paid attention in ap chemistry anyways...
+1
Level 66
Nov 14, 2016
Butcher baker & candlestick maker?
+1
Level 64
Jan 13, 2017
I guess chandler didn't rhyme.
+1
Level 53
Jan 14, 2017
Plus, a candlestick isn't the same thing as a candle....
+1
Level 64
Feb 5, 2017
I tried chemist, pharmacist, druggist, and dispenser, and none of them worked! So annoying! haha
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2019
I tried several too, including doctor, dealer and medicineman haha. I tried to type apothecary but didnt know the ending in englsh_
+2
Level 70
Sep 13, 2017
I think I did pretty well... 20 of 28 on my first try :D now for the other components of the history badge... won't go well...
+1
Level 21
Dec 25, 2017
first try 1:51
+1
Level 52
Jan 16, 2018
How can alchemist be a profession?
+1
Level 53
Nov 9, 2018
agreed
+1
Level 66
Jan 19, 2018
Why did I get chandler, but not mason?!
+1
Level 47
Feb 7, 2018
"makes beer", monks, gotta be monks.... no? well, I guess monks did other then make beer, didn't they...
+1
Level 37
Feb 28, 2018
Great Quiz!
+1
Level 49
Mar 14, 2018
lol I couldnt think of what a person who makes bread is called but I remember the people who cut wood into lumber, the lead one, etc. LOL
+1
Level 63
Mar 14, 2018
Stable master (or stablemaster) should also qualify as someone who cares for horses. I believe it falls under "ye olde profession" as well.
+1
Level 81
Jun 25, 2018
A farrier and a furrier would go nice back to back.
+1
Level 70
Jul 26, 2019
And ferrier (another word for blacksmith)!
+1
Level 67
Mar 1, 2020
No, that is the already mentioned farrier, a ferrier is a ferryman, as in boat that crosses a river.
+1
Level 81
Jun 27, 2018
"Ye" pronunciation and definition in this context should be required for 5/5 points.
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2019
? Not sure where it appears in the quiz, but the meaning is "the" and the pronunciation is "the", exactly as we say "the" in current English. The thorn or Y shape was the symbol for the sound we make for 'th' in the.
+1
Level 80
Aug 23, 2018
Doula?
+1
Level 45
Oct 5, 2018
And with this quiz done I finally have all 15 badges :D
+2
Level 63
May 16, 2019
When I initially read the clue on "Milks cows (female)" I thought, "Cf course female cows! Good lord, what a truly awful job it would be to 'milk' male cows!"
+1
Level 41
May 24, 2019
Game of Thrones for the win on this one. Figure some of those fans might make there way here. If so, check out my page for some awesome Game of Thrones quizzes: https://www.jetpunk.com/users/maestertywin
+2
Level 50
Jun 15, 2019
A midwife does not have to be female. The wife part refers to the client, not the professional.
+1
Level 43
Jun 15, 2019
What a great quiz! I did not do well.
+1
Level 55
Jul 26, 2019
makes wagons = coachbuilder, drives a team of animals = herdsman
+1
Level 55
Jul 26, 2019
manages household servants = governess
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2019
A governess was hired to teach children, usually a she, and governed the children's education. They did not govern or manage the household servants.
+1
Level 59
Jul 26, 2019
accept stablehand for groom?
+1
Level 56
Jul 26, 2019
I would have never guessed plumber for "works with lead"
+1
Level 62
Oct 3, 2019
My Mum's heating system struck a leak and it was discovered, during its replacement, that the pipes supplying her home were still lead! Eeek so the street was also dug up to replace those. This was in 2019. Plumbers are still finding lead to work with.
+1
Level 44
Jul 26, 2019
Maybe add a note to the description that the professions *began* in the middle-ages. I was expected to guess older, now-gone professions, but a bunch of these still exist.
+1
Level 70
Jul 27, 2019
Did you think this was a "Professions that no longer exist" quiz?
+1
Level 67
Nov 17, 2019
Given that a baker will only earn money if he makes and sells bread, and a cooper will only make money if he makes and sells barrels, should alchemist (as it is described here) be considered an actual profession?
+1
Level 67
Mar 1, 2020
While some might have been sponsored, I actually see it more as a hobby than an occuption. I can't really picture them "clocking in " in the morning and getting in trouble if they weren't on time. ;)
+1
Level 48
Dec 9, 2019
The problem is in the title, 'You Old Professions' doesn't make sense. The 'Y' in the 'ye' should be the Runic Thorne if you want to make the /th/ sound. Just saying....
+1
Level 65
Mar 1, 2020
The title is fine. The symbol for the letter "thorn", which looked much like a "p" with an extended top, was rendered as "y" by early printers. This pretty much sealed thorn's fate of eventually becoming an archaic letter.
+1
Level 56
Feb 22, 2020
How about "currier" as well as "tanner"? It''s more specifically a maker of leather.
+1
Level 28
Jun 4, 2020
The only ones I know are the ones that are also villager professions in Minecraft LOL
+1
Level 22
Jul 12, 2020
Should "Valet" be accepted for someone who carries luggage?
+1
Level 22
Jul 12, 2020
Aaargh I can't believe I didn't get Baker. I thought it was too obvious!