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From Middle English schaver; equivalent to shave +‎ -er.

In its meaning of a boy, lad, recorded since 1592, the word shaver has also been postulated to derive from Romani chavo (young man), which also gives us the modern slang chav, ultimately derived from Sanskrit छा (chā, young animal).



shaver (plural shavers)

  1. One who shaves.
  2. A barber, one whose occupation is to shave.
  3. A tool or machine for shaving; an electric razor.
  4. (slang, obsolete) An extortionate bargainer; a sharper.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)
  5. One who fleeces; a pillager; a plunderer.
    • (Can we date this quote by Knolles and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      By these shavers the Turks were stripped.
  6. (colloquial) A boy; a lad; a little fellow.
    • (Can we date this quote by Charles Dickens and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      As I have mentioned at the door to this young shaver, I am on a chase in the name of the king.



  • shaver” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967