From Middle English tinkere, perhaps from Old English *tincere, from tin (“tin”) + Old English *cere (as in bēocere (“beekeeper”)), from Proto-Germanic *kazjaz (“vessel-maker”), from Proto-Germanic *kazą (“vessel; vat; tub”).
tinker (plural tinkers)
- An itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made of tin.
- (dated, chiefly Britain and Ireland, offensive) A member of the Irish Traveller community. A gypsy.
- (usually with "little") A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster.
- Someone who repairs, or attempts repair on anything mechanical or who invents (someone who tinkers); a tinkerer.
- The act of repair or invention.
- (military, obsolete) A hand mortar.
- Any of various fish: the chub mackerel, the silverside, the skate, or a young mackerel about two years old.
- A bird, the razor-billed auk.
- (mischievous person): rapscallion, rascal, rogue, scamp, scoundrel
- (member of the travelling community): traveller
- (intransitive) To fiddle with something in an attempt to fix, mend or improve it, especially in an experimental or unskilled manner.
- (intransitive) To work as a tinker.