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A haberdasher is a person who sells small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons, and zippers.[1] In U.S. English, haberdasher is another term for a men's outfitter.[2] A haberdasher's shop or the items sold therein are called haberdashery.

Contents

Origin and use

The word appears in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Haberdashers were initially peddlers, sellers of small wares such as needles, buttons, etc. The word could derive from the Icelandic haprtask "peddlers' wares" or the sack in which the peddler carried them. In this sense, a haberdasher (Scandinavian name) would be very close to a mercer (French name). A haberdasher would retail small wares, the goods of the peddler, while a mercer would specialize in "linens, silks, fustian, worsted piece-goods and bedding".[3]

Saint Louis IX, the King of France 1226–70, is the patron saint of haberdashers.[4][5]

Notable Haberdashers

See also

References

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1989: "A dealer in small articles appertaining to dress, as thread, tape, ribbons, etc.
  2. ^ Collins Dictionary of the English Language (1979)
  3. ^ Sutton, Anne F. (2005). The Mercery of London: Trade, Goods and People, 1130-1578, p.118. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0754653315
  4. ^ Catholic Culture, St. Louis IX
  5. ^ Patron Saints Index
  6. ^ NOVA #1001
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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