One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who scavenges in river mud for objects of value.
rummage, search, hunt, look, forage, root about, root around, scratch about, scratch around, grub about, grub aroundView synonyms
- ‘It is a London voice, it is the sound of the mudlark children in the clay flats herding their goats, selling their dung.’
- ‘The floating fire was removed and a peasant mudlark called Osric was sent in to delve down in the nice warm water to see if there was anything left of the pots or just a soggy mass of clay in the bottom.’
- ‘Unlike the street-sellers, whose lives were solitary, the mudlarks formed organised communities.’
- ‘The mudlarks and the River Police are thorough, unlike some.’
- ‘Wheeler is a mudlark, an orphan aged about 10, scavenging a living on the banks of the Thames in London.’
- 1.1historical A scruffy or dirty child who spent most of the time on the street.
mischievous child, imp, monkey, puck, rascal, rogue, minx, mischief-maker, prankster, tearawayView synonyms
- ‘In London where I've lived and worked, the real mudlark, the historical one, was a child who lived in the gutter, as it were.’
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