One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who shines the shoes of passersby for payment.
- ‘One's senses were assaulted by news vendors, shoeblacks, quack doctors and the like and their specimens of cajolery.’
- ‘I never heard a shoeblack called a boot-finisher before, but I think the euphemism was allowable in a young lady who wishes to exalt the commercial status of her intended.’
- ‘Two seemingly harmless and careless shoeblacks turn out to be gloomy crooks with a dirty plan to rob a bank courier.’
- ‘Unemployment is high and many people support themselves with badly paid work in the ‘informal sector’ as shoeblacks or street vendors.’
- ‘We see shoeblacks and lamplighters with their tools and utensils; and milkmaids, fruit sellers and prostitutes touting their wares.’
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