charwoman

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

char + woman.

Noun[edit]

charwoman (plural charwomen)

  1. (chiefly UK) A woman employed to do housework.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 17, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything.

Note: In the nineteenth century, the charlady worked for weekly wages and usually came and went on a daily basis.

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