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carpenter, n. SECOND EDITION 1989
(kpnt®) Forms: 3 carpenter, (4 carpunter, 5 -pentour, -pynter, 6 -pintor, (Sc.) charpenteir). [a. AngloFr. carpenter, ONF. carpentier (F. charpentier = Pr. carpentier, Sp. carpentero, It. carpentiero):late L. carpentri-us originally ‘carriage-maker’, f. carpent-um two-wheeled chariot, wagon. L. carpent-um was app. a. OCelt. carpentom, whence OIr. carpat, mod.Ir. & Gael. carbad carriage, chariot, litter, bier; prob. related to OCelt. carr-om: see CAR. Isidore XIX. xix. 1 says ‘Lignarius generaliter ligni opifex appellatur. Carpentarius speciale nomen est. Carpentum enim solum facit.’]
1. ‘An artificer in wood’ (J.); as distinguished from a joiner, cabinet-maker, etc., one who does the heavier and stronger work in wood, as the framework of houses, ships, etc.
c1325 Coer de L. 5934 My fadyr n’as mason, ne carpentere. 1387 TREVISA Higden (Rolls) II. 367 Of Dedalus e carpunter. a1400 Leg. Rood (1871) 30 at holi tre was fairest o..e carpenters it let[e] adoun. c1400 Destr. Troy 1597 Carpentours, cotelers, coucheours fyn. 1495 Act 11 Hen. VII, xxii. §1 A maister Ship Carpenter..havyng men undre hym. 1548 Compl. Scot. 10 Ane merchant, ane cordinar, charpenteir. 1564 W. BULLEIN Dialogue (1886) 8 Suche Carpenter, suche chips. 1567 DRANT Horace Ep. xiv, The carpintor dothe grudge. 1611 BIBLE Mark vi. 3 Is not this the carpenter, the sonne of Mary? 1665-9 BOYLE Occas. Refl. (1675) 376 Like the Carpenters that toyl’d to build the Ark to save Noah from the Deluge, themselves perisht in. 1835 MISS MITFORD in L’Estrange Life III. iii. 31 Captain Gore is..a capital working carpenter. 1851 RUSKIN Stones Ven. (1874) I. App. 381 The trade which of all manual trades has been most honoured; be for once a carpenter. 2. fig. cf. ‘builder, constructor.’
1393 LANGL. P. Pl. B. x. 410 Carpenters vnder criste holy kirke to make. 1597 2nd Pt. Return fr. Pernass. IV. ii. 1722 The chiefe Carpenter of Sonets. 3. Naut. ‘An officer appointed to examine and keep in order the hull of a wooden ship, and all her appurtenances’ (Smyth Sailor’s Word-bk.). Hence carpenter’s crew, mate, yeoman, etc.
1627 CAPT. SMITH Seaman’s Gram. viii. 35 The Carpenter and his Mate. 1708 Royal Procl. 20 May in Lond. Gaz. No. 4440/1 Trumpeters, Quarter-Gunners, Carpenters Crews. 1753 CHAMBERS Cycl. Supp. s.v., The carpenter has a mate under him, and a crew or gang to command on necessary occasions. 1833 MARRYAT P. Simple xvii, The captain..sent for Mr. Muddle, the Carpenter. 4. Short for carpenter-ant, carpenter-bee, etc.
1883 Knowledge 13 July 20/1 [One species of tree-ants] bore into the trunk of the tree itself, by reason of which..they are designated Carpenters. 5. attrib. and Comb., as carpenter-fashion, -shop, -theory. In possessive case, frequently designating varieties of tools and instruments specially used by carpenters, as carpenter’s axe, chisel, clamp, gauge, level, plane, square, etc. carpenter-ant (see 4); carpenter-bee, a genus of solitary bees, Xylocopa, the females of which excavate cells in decaying wood in which to deposit their eggs; carpenter-grass, common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium; carpenter’s herb, common Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris; erroneously, bugle and yarrow; carpenter’s measure, tonnage as measured by the cubic foot; carpenter’s or carpenter-scene (Theatr.), (a) a scene introduced on the front of the stage to give the stage-carpenters time to arrange complicated scenery behind for the next act; (b) the painted scene which forms the background of this, and shuts off the part of the stage behind, where the stage-carpenters are at work; carpenter-work, carpentry; also fig.
1844 Penny Cycl. XXIII. 635/1 The wings of the..carpenter-bees are most frequently black, with a fine purple or violet gloss.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1857 SEARS Athan. xii. (1858) 102 The idea of the universe as a building which..God put up carpenter-fashion.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1526 Gt. Herball (Britten & H.) In some places is called Carpenter-grasse, it is good to reioyne, and soudre woundes.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1578 LYTE Dodoens I. xc. 133 Brunella, in English Prunell, Carpenters herbe, Selfe heale & Hooke heale. 1611 COTGR., Herbe au charpentier..Carpenters-hearbe, Sickle-worte, Hooke-heale, Selfe-heale. 1737 OZELL Rabelais (1807) II. 119 He should go search for some millefoil, commonly called the carpenter’s herb. 1861 MISS PRATT Flower. Pl. IV. 176.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1768 Phil. Trans. LVIII. 312 Secured in a tube from the wind, in the manner of carpenters levels.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1756 in Picton L’pool Munic. Rec. (1886) II. 147 A bounty of ten shillings a ton..of Carpenter’s measure.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1860 Cornhill Mag. Dec. 750 (Hoppe) The dialogue of a front-scene (known technically as a carpenter’s scene) when your play requires a complicated view to be arranged behind it. 1864 Athenæum No. 1928, 506/2 Carpenter-scenes. 1874 Graphic 31 Jan. 111/2 A Carpenter’s Scene is generally a flat in the first grooves consisting of some murky picture or other.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1882 FREEMAN in Longm. Mag. I. 88 ‘Barber-shop’, ‘carpenter-shop’.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1688 R. HOLME Armoury III. ix. §13 A Joyners Rule..and a Carpenters Square.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1862 H. SPENCER First Princ. I. v. §33 (1875) 120 He declines to accept the carpenter theory of creation as the most worthy.
———————————————————————————————————————— 1553 UDALL Respublica (1952) V. vi, I woulde ere long of yowe [haue] made suche *carpenter weorke, That ye shoulde haue saide Policie had been a clerke. 1720 in Jrnl. Derbysh. Archæol. Soc. (1905) XXVII. 216 Carpenter work 1 6 0. 1844 H. STEPHENS Bk. Farm I. 168 They embrace the particulars of mason-work, carpenter-work, slater-work,..smith-work. 1909 Daily Chron. 2 June 5/2 The play is at best a piece of very crude carpenter-work.
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