One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A self-employed licensed porter at Smithfield meat market in London.
- ‘The neighborhood is a melange of quiet squares and bustling, cobbled streets where bummarees push two-wheel carts filled with beef and poultry and white-coated doctors come and go from St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which was founded in 1123.’
- ‘There is a class called by the extraordinary name of bommarees or bummarees (for what reason even the ‘oldest inhabitant’ could not tell), who buy largely from the leaders in the trade, and then sell again to the peripatetics - the street dealers.’
- ‘But would there ever again be a call for braggers (wool merchants) or bottomers (whose job down the mines was to lug the ore from the face to the bottom of the shaft for removal), and how about belly-builders (who made the insides of pianos), bummarees (middlemen in the fish trade), and wanters, who like Crocodile Dundee went fearlessly out catching moles?’
Late 18th century: of unknown origin.
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