In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a trend emerged in English slang for bestowing mock “titles” on people employed or engaged in various jobs or pursuits. So an "admiral of the blue" was a publican, so-called because of the color of his apron. A "queen of the dripping pan" was a cook. A "lord of the foresheet" was a ship’s cook. And a "knight of the cue" was a billiard-player, a "knight of the thimble" was a tailor, a "knight of the lapstone" a cobbler, and a "knight of the brush" an artist. So what would your job title have been in Victorian slang? 


Barmen were known as "aproners" and waiters were known as "knights of the napkin" in Victorian slang—although if you waited tables in a pub or tavern you were more likely to be called a "dash" (derived either from your habit of “dashing” from table to table, or serving a “dash” of liquor). Any waiter lucky enough to work outside during the summer months, at garden parties or in beer gardens and tea gardens, was called a "grasshopper." 


A "dripping" was a (usually fairly poor-quality) chef or cook in 19th-century slang, as was a "lick-fingers" and a "spoil-broth." "Gally-swab" was another name for a ship’s cook, and a "Jack Nasty-face" was a naval cook or cook's assistant, probably derived from the earlier use of "jack" to mean a newly recruited deckhand or sailor.


If you were a general tradesman or shop-worker in Victorian England, then you were a "blue-apron" or an "aproner," although a disreputable shopkeeper who cheated his or her customers was known as a "tax-fencer." Nicknames for specific shopkeepers included "cleaver and kill-calf" (a butcher); "strap and scraper" (a barber); "crumb-and-crust-man" or "bapper and burn-crust" (a baker); "figgins" and "split-fig" (a greengrocer); and "stay-tape" and "steel-bar flinger" (a tailor). The word "shopkeeper" itself was also used as a nickname for an item of stock that remained unsold for a long time. 


Because Shakespeare was “The Swan of Avon,” a "swan-slinger" was a Shakespearean actor in 19th-century English. Elsewhere, actors were also called "tags" (from the character names that “tag” the speeches in a script), "agony-pilers" (particularly those who took on weighty roles), and "cackling-coves" (literally “chattering-men”).


While a "quill-driver" or a "pen-driver" was a clerk or secretary in 19th-century slang, a hack journalist who would take on any work for cash was called an "X.Y.Z." after an anonymous writer who used the pseudonym “XYZ” in a mid-1880s Times of London ad offering to work on any project going. Journalists were also known as "screeds," "pencil-pushers," "adjective-jerkers," and "chaunter-coves," while a "yarn-chopper" was a journalist who made up the stories they wrote about.


Because the London police force was established in 1829 by then-Home Secretary (and later Prime Minister) Sir Robert Peel, Victorian police officers became known as "peelers" and "bobbies," terms still in use in Britain today. The peelers’ dark-blue uniforms were also the origin of the old nicknames "blue-belly," "bluebottle," "gentleman in blue and white," and even "unboiled lobster."


Derived from the earlier use of “snap” to mean a "snare” or “noose,” a "brother-snap" was an unscrupulous lawyer or shyster in 18th- and 19th-century slang. Lawyers were also known as "sublime rascals," "tongue-padders" and "split-causes" (because of their habit of going into lengthy explanatory discourses and nit-picking over every detail), "Tom Sawyers" (in London rhyming slang), and "snipes"—because they typically presented you with a very long bill.


While magistrates were known as "beaks" in 18th-19th century English (no one quite knows why), judges were "nobs-in-the-fur-trade" among Victorian criminals. (A "nob" was a particularly high-ranking or important person, while “the fur trade” referred to the white fur or ermine used to adorn judges’ robes.)


"Learning-shover," "nip-lug" (because they pulled on unruly pupils’ ears or “lugs”), and "terror of the infantry" (infantry being a slang name for the pupils of a school) were all old nicknames for schoolteachers in 19th-century English, as was "haberdasher of pronouns." A schoolmaster was a "knight of grammar," while a Sunday-school teacher was a "gospel-grinder," or a "gospel-shark."


Probably derived from the Latin word for “ox,” bos, a "bosken" was a farmhouse in 19th-century slang, and so a farmer was a "bos-man" or a "boss-cockie"; a "Billy Turniptop" was a farmhand or agricultural worker.


Priests were known as "devil-dodgers," "men-in-black," "mumble-matins" (derived from the Matins church service) and "joss-house men" in 19th-century slang—the latter derived from a pidgin English pronunciation of the Spanish word Dios.


Both "clyster-pipe" and "squirt" are old nicknames for syringes that by the 19th century had come to be used as bywords for anyone employed in dispensing medication. "Water-scriger" and "water-caster" were 16th-century words, both still in use in the 1800s, for doctors who diagnosed their patients based on examinations of their urine. Surgeons were known as "bone-setters" and "castor-oil artists," while dentists were "fang-fakers" and pharmacists and chemists were "potter-carriers" (a pun on “apothecary”). A chemist’s assistant was a "bottle-boy," and a "loblolly-boy" was a doctor’s assistant. 


A "rag" was a banknote in early 19th-century English, and so a "rag-shop" or a "rag-box" was a bank, while a "rag-shop boss" was a banker and a "rag-shop cove" was a cashier, or someone whose work involved taking and counting money.