15 Professions With Strange and Wonderful Names

Historical employment records are full of fantastic job titles that don't often show up in today's classifieds. Here are 15 professions with very interesting names.

1. Catchpole. A catchpole rounded up delinquent debtors. Imagine a cross between Dog the Bounty Hunter and a really smarmy collections agent.

2. Knocker-Up. In British towns of yore, particularly those with a mine or mill as the center of commercial activity, knocker-ups were responsible for going from house to house to wake workers in the mornings. The title came from the sound they made rapping on windows.

3. Weirkeeper. A keeper of fish traps. Just don’t ever call the guys from Deadliest Catch that to their face.

4. Ironmonger. One who sells things made out of iron. Mongers of all types were found in the Middle Ages: costermonger (fruit seller), fishmonger, woodmonger—and the term still survives here and there as in hatemonger and fear monger.

5. Hobbler. No, not one who breaks legs for the mob (or more historically, the Medicis), but rather one who tows boats on a river or canal.

6. Arkwright. A maker of arks (wooden chests or coffers).

7. Redsmith. Unlike blacksmiths who worked with iron, redsmiths worked with copper. Goldsmiths and silversmiths were a little less colorful when it came to naming.

8. Knacker. Harness maker.

9. Chandler. One who makes candles, and one of the common surnames to come from professional designations; miller, baker, cooper, and potter being other obvious examples.

10. Eggler. Predictably, an egg-merchant.

11. Collier. Not, as I expected, a devoted fan of the TV show Lassie, but in fact one who makes and sells charcoal.

12. Haberdasher. One who deals in men’s furnishings. You’ll still come across this one today, especially with shops that want to sound fancier than they are.

13. Ackerman. An oxherder. Do we have oxen in the U.S.?

14. Thimblerigger. One who runs a game of “thimblerig.” The predecessor to three-card-monte, thimblerig consisted of shuttling a pea among three thimbles and betting on which thimble the pea was under.

15. Hayward. An officer in charge of fences and hedges. Good fences make good neighbors, but good haywards make good fences.

The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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