One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In plural (usually with capital initials and with the). A group of 16th-century engravers, especially in Nuremberg, who followed Albrecht Dürer and who worked small-dimension plates with biblical, mythological, and genre scenes.
2In England: a self-employed artisan or manufacturer; specifically an independent worker making hardware at Birmingham and Sheffield and usually selling to a factor. Now historical.
Late Middle English (in an earlier sense). From little + master.
little master/ˌlɪtl ˈmastə//ˌlɪtl ˈmɑːstə/
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