thumbnail

Ye Olde Professions

Guess the names of these professions from the Middle Ages.
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: August 18, 2014
You have not attempted this quiz yet.
First submittedJanuary 24, 2012
Times taken123,433
Average score53.6%
Rating4.56
5:00
Enter profession here:
0
 / 28 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Description
Profession
Works with iron or steel
Blacksmith
Makes bread
Baker
Makes clothes
Tailor
Grinds grain into flour
Miller
Turns base metals to gold
Alchemist
Builds using stone or brick
Mason
Amuses the king
Jester
Makes beer
Brewer
Makes leather
Tanner
Makes barrels
Cooper
Traveling poet/singer
Bard
Sells fish
Fishmonger
Herds sheep
Shepherd
Cares for horses
Groom
Description
Profession
Cuts timber into boards
Sawyer
Works with lead
Plumber
Makes candles
Chandler
Makes wagons
Wainwright
Milks cows (female)
Milkmaid
Assists in the birth of a child
Midwife
Manages household servants
Butler
Prepares and sells meat
Butcher
Drives a team of animals
Teamster
Sells medicine
Apothecary
Makes, sells and repairs fur
Furrier
Carries luggage
Porter
Repairs shoes
Cobbler
Sews clothes (female)
Seamstress
103 Recent Comments
+4
Level 51
Mar 2, 2014
A groom is also a farrier or an ossler; a person who builds fortifications was an engineer (a fortification builder was differentiated from a bridge builder by calling the latter a "civil" engineer); a teamster is also called a drover or driver.
+5
Level 59
Oct 3, 2019
And more likely to be in UK as we don't use the term teamster.
+2
Level 56
Jan 4, 2021
Never heard of a teamster before now! These quizzes are an education
+1
Level 76
Jul 9, 2024
I've only heard the term because of the Teamster union in the U.S. which is featured in some movies about the mob.
+3
Level 78
Mar 9, 2014
A farrier also cares for horses.
+4
Level 70
Apr 20, 2019
Doesnt a farrier not only take cares of the hooves & horseshoes
+2
Level 70
Apr 20, 2019
I tried stableboy and page among other things
+2
Level 39
Apr 19, 2014
What, no milliner? and what about haberdasher for the clothing maker?
+1
Level 83
Aug 7, 2016
Haberdashery and clothes-making are different things.
+3
Level 37
Apr 19, 2014
could have had Fletcher, Mercer, Chamberlain, Thatcher, Tinker
+1
Level 80
May 7, 2014
That was difficult! Well done.
+1
Level 49
Jun 11, 2014
wrangler also works for horse tender
+14
Level 84
Jul 3, 2014
Look, it's the baby boy names quiz from 2004! Or the baby girl names quiz from 2009! All the same.
+1
Level 55
Feb 10, 2015
like ^
+3
Level 89
Aug 10, 2014
Fun quiz! Based on the picture, I thought for sure luthier (one who makes stringed instruments) would be one of the answers.
+4
Level 60
Aug 10, 2014
Fun quiz thanks. Could you accept ostler as someone who looks after horses?
+3
Level 59
Oct 3, 2019
Thank you as that is what I immediately came up with.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ostler

+1
Level 63
Aug 11, 2014
One of the few things that old RPG Runescape taught me...
+1
Level 69
Aug 12, 2014
Loved this quiz! Thanks so much!
+3
Level 38
Aug 12, 2014
What's with the picture of Ron Weasley?
+2
Level 41
Aug 27, 2014
i have to disagree about prostitute being brought up as the oldest profession. A prostitute accepts pay for performing sexual services. While I'm sure that a caveman offering a haunch of dead something helped his chances with a cavewoman this isn't true payment or even a profession. Prostitution as it is commonly know couldn't have exited until humanity moved past the hunter-gatherer stage and started to become more agricultural. You would need a large community of people with a fair amount of surplus before services like prostitution could become a way to fully support oneself and therefore become a profession. I'd say that hunter-gatherer is realistically the oldest profession. Wow, I put way too much thought into this :)
+3
Level 82
Sep 12, 2014
The concepts of wealth, property, and being able to pay for things because you had so much of one thing that you could spare a little to get something else... all did not exist prior to farming and agriculture which marked the shift from pure subsistence living to something akin to civilization. So, necessarily, farmer predates all other professions if you're going to define profession as something you're paid to do. But hunter/gatherer I guess could be labeled the first "occupation"- as this is what occupied pretty much 100% of our time before 12,000 years ago.
+3
Level 74
Jan 20, 2015
Great idea for a quiz. But Butler is definitely not correct -- in the Middle Ages the butler was the person in charge of 'butts of beer' -- nothing to do with managing servants (this is a much later definition). Please change it to House Steward or House Keeper or something more suitable. If you feel like expanding your quiz, you could add scullion, scribe, armorer, spinster, potter, marshal, knight, squire, herbalist, fletcher (made bows and arrows), carpenter, barber (they cut hair as well as did dentistry and some surgery)....
+4
Level 55
Feb 10, 2015
Uhm, not "butts" of beer, but "botelier", bottles of wine and port.
+1
Level 55
Feb 10, 2015
Isn't someone who makes wagons, a "carter"?
+1
Level 42
Jun 4, 2015
No, he just drives it.
+2
Level 62
Sep 6, 2015
I'm pretty sure this use of bard is incorrect. You mean a minstrel. Bards are only like that in fantasy. Historically, bards were Celtic poets and the name also gets applied to Homer and Shakespeare. They didn't travel around singing in medieval times.
+5
Level 51
Oct 5, 2015
In the UK and Australia, midwives can be male.
+8
Level 54
Nov 14, 2016
Yup. The word 'midwife' is derived from the Old English for 'with woman.' The word itself isn't gendered.
+3
Level 70
Apr 20, 2019
Cool I didnt know that, I see it now (in most if not all germanic languages besides english a variation of - mid is still used for "with": mit, met, med, með )
+1
Level 73
Nov 8, 2018
It's doubtful they were male in medieval times, though.
+4
Level 37
Sep 9, 2020
Most professions were male in medieval times, and you don't feel the need to append "(male)" to them all. The word "midwife" has absolutely no meaning of being male or female, as a matter of fact, so it is incorrect to state "(female)" above. In fact it is a bit offensive that a predominantly female profession should be marked as an oddity, while a predominantly male profession raises no eyebrows.
+2
Level 74
Oct 14, 2015
Many of these still exist though
+1
Level 56
Nov 4, 2015
Absolutely many still exist, and I think people who work in these professions would be insulted to hear their skills referred to as being from the Middle Ages.
+2
Level 77
Apr 23, 2016
A lot of people in the Middle Ages were more skilled at these things than people are today. Some methods have changed surprisingly little if at all.
+4
Level 83
Dec 9, 2015
A furrier doesn't make fur. Biological processes in animals do
+5
Level 77
Apr 23, 2016
I find the description for "alchemist" a bit worrysome. For all the others it's what they actually do. For alchemist it is what they are trying to do. No alchemist ever succeeded in turning base metals into gold, it's just not possible.
+2
Level 58
Nov 9, 2018
Definitely, there was no such profession
+7
Level 73
Jul 26, 2019
I disagree. Whilst it's obviously true that alchemists never discovered how to turn base metals into gold (along with creating a panacea or achieving immortality), they did make pretty significant strides in other fields, namely chemistry, philosophy and medicine. They were well funded by the elite and even the state in some cases, and were certainly considered to be legitimate professionals at the time. In fact, the view that these people were fraudsters probably only arose around the 18th Century with the rise of modern science.
+3
Level 75
Apr 14, 2020
"Didn't turn base metals into gold" would be a better description :-D
+4
Level 65
Nov 14, 2016
Vin Baker, Tyshawn Taylor, Reggie Miller, Anthony Mason, Corey Brewer, Michael Cooper, Otto Porter, Jimmy Butler, Tyson Chandler, and Adam Wainwright are just some professional athletes I can name off the top of my head.
+2
Level 59
Nov 14, 2016
Superb quiz! All jobs still available in India!
+1
Level 65
Nov 14, 2016
I thought a chandler was something to do with ropes?
+2
Level 67
Nov 14, 2016
Kind of. A ship's chandler specialises in equipment for ships - including ropes and twines, as well as lots of other things such as tools and oils – so above and beyond the wax, candles and soap a traditional chandler would deal with.
+1
Level 74
Nov 14, 2016
I tried haberdasher and clothier for tailor... could not think of tailor.
+2
Level 56
Nov 14, 2016
shoulda known the lead one cause its symbol is Pb...comes from like Plumbous or Plumbic i never paid attention in ap chemistry anyways...
+2
Level 78
Nov 14, 2016
Butcher baker & candlestick maker?
+5
Level 68
Jan 13, 2017
I guess chandler didn't rhyme.
+3
Level 50
Jan 14, 2017
Plus, a candlestick isn't the same thing as a candle....
+2
Level 65
Feb 5, 2017
I tried chemist, pharmacist, druggist, and dispenser, and none of them worked! So annoying! haha
+1
Level 70
Apr 20, 2019
I tried several too, including doctor, dealer and medicineman haha. I tried to type apothecary but didnt know the ending in englsh_
+2
Level 77
Sep 13, 2017
I think I did pretty well... 20 of 28 on my first try :D now for the other components of the history badge... won't go well...
+1
Level 22
Dec 25, 2017
first try

1:51

+1
Level 47
Jan 16, 2018
How can alchemist be a profession?
+1
Level 58
Nov 9, 2018
agreed
+1
Level 85
Jan 19, 2018
Why did I get chandler, but not mason?!
+2
Level 44
Feb 7, 2018
"makes beer", monks, gotta be monks.... no? well, I guess monks did other then make beer, didn't they...
+1
Level 37
Feb 28, 2018
Great Quiz!
+1
Level 44
Mar 14, 2018
lol I couldnt think of what a person who makes bread is called but I remember the people who cut wood into lumber, the lead one, etc. LOL
+2
Level 70
Mar 14, 2018
Stable master (or stablemaster) should also qualify as someone who cares for horses. I believe it falls under "ye olde profession" as well.
+1
Level 89
Jun 25, 2018
A farrier and a furrier would go nice back to back.
+1
Level 83
Jul 26, 2019
And ferrier (another word for blacksmith)!
+2
Level 70
Mar 1, 2020
No, that is the already mentioned farrier, a ferrier is a ferryman, as in boat that crosses a river.
+1
Level 89
Jun 27, 2018
"Ye" pronunciation and definition in this context should be required for 5/5 points.
+4
Level 59
Oct 3, 2019
? Not sure where it appears in the quiz, but the meaning is "the" and the pronunciation is "the", exactly as we say "the" in current English. The thorn or Y shape was the symbol for the sound we make for 'th' in the.
+2
Level 89
Aug 23, 2018
Doula?
+2
Level 44
Oct 5, 2018
And with this quiz done I finally have all 15 badges :D
+6
Level 70
May 16, 2019
When I initially read the clue on "Milks cows (female)" I thought, "Cf course female cows! Good lord, what a truly awful job it would be to 'milk' male cows!"
+1
Level 33
May 24, 2019
Game of Thrones for the win on this one. Figure some of those fans might make there way here.

If so, check out my page for some awesome Game of Thrones quizzes: https://www.jetpunk.com/users/maestertywin

+2
Level 66
Jun 15, 2019
A midwife does not have to be female. The wife part refers to the client, not the professional.
+1
Level 46
Jun 15, 2019
What a great quiz! I did not do well.
+1
Level 56
Jul 26, 2019
makes wagons = coachbuilder,

drives a team of animals = herdsman

+1
Level 56
Jul 26, 2019
manages household servants = governess
+5
Level 59
Oct 3, 2019
A governess was hired to teach children, usually a she, and governed the children's education. They did not govern or manage the household servants.
+1
Level 58
Jul 26, 2019
accept stablehand for groom?
+1
Level 69
Jul 26, 2019
I would have never guessed plumber for "works with lead"
+1
Level 59
Oct 3, 2019
My Mum's heating system struck a leak and it was discovered, during its replacement, that the pipes supplying her home were still lead! Eeek so the street was also dug up to replace those. This was in 2019. Plumbers are still finding lead to work with.
+1
Level 45
Jul 26, 2019
Maybe add a note to the description that the professions *began* in the middle-ages. I was expected to guess older, now-gone professions, but a bunch of these still exist.
+1
Level 70
Jul 27, 2019
Did you think this was a "Professions that no longer exist" quiz?
+1
Level 72
Nov 17, 2019
Given that a baker will only earn money if he makes and sells bread, and a cooper will only make money if he makes and sells barrels, should alchemist (as it is described here) be considered an actual profession?
+1
Level 70
Mar 1, 2020
While some might have been sponsored, I actually see it more as a hobby than an occuption. I can't really picture them "clocking in " in the morning and getting in trouble if they weren't on time. ;)
+1
Level 61
Dec 9, 2019
The problem is in the title, 'You Old Professions' doesn't make sense. The 'Y' in the 'ye' should be the Runic Thorne if you want to make the /th/ sound. Just saying....
+3
Level 62
Mar 1, 2020
The title is fine. The symbol for the letter "thorn", which looked much like a "p" with an extended top, was rendered as "y" by early printers. This pretty much sealed thorn's fate of eventually becoming an archaic letter.
+1
Level 80
Feb 22, 2020
How about "currier" as well as "tanner"? It''s more specifically a maker of leather.
+1
Level 26
Jun 4, 2020
The only ones I know are the ones that are also villager professions in Minecraft LOL
+1
Level 44
Oct 9, 2020
Blacksmith, baker, tailor, Miller, alchemist, mason, jester, brewer, tanner, cooper, bard, fishmonger, Shepard, groom, Chandler, plumber, wainwright,Cobb,er, seamstress, milkmaid, Porter, butler, sawyer are all hard
+2
Level 45
Apr 6, 2021
I...I typed farrier.
+2
Level 43
Sep 17, 2021
Anyone else try "equerry" for the horse one?
+1
Level 39
Nov 16, 2021
Shouldn't Bellhop or Bellboy work for "carries luggage"?
+1
Level 58
Nov 18, 2021
I did not know that there were butlers and porters in the middle ages.
+1
Level 52
Nov 20, 2021
How about a fletcher?
+2
Level 75
Nov 22, 2021
A midwife doesn't have to be female. The 'wife' part refers to the woman giving birth, not the person assisting. In olde worldy terms it just means "with woman".
+1
Level 62
Dec 29, 2021
No executioner?
+1
Level 78
Apr 16, 2022
I was taking this quiz, and realized I was late for my appointment with the haberdasher.
+1
Level 31
Aug 30, 2022
I dont like this
+1
Level 68
Sep 8, 2022
Stablehand should be acceptable for Groom.
+1
Level 48
Nov 16, 2022
Could you please add jongleur for bard? I believe they can be used interchangeably.
+1
Level 50
Jan 14, 2023
no modiste? for female dressmakers? ....ohm wait. are you saying they make dresses for females? or are they females that make dresses? or... am I just wrong? ... no it is you. can you accept it pls?
+2
Level 22
Mar 31, 2023
In 1800s London, a lot of shoes were custom made by cordswainers. My family were cordswainers, also known as shoemakers. Being called a cobbler was an insult, as they merely fix shoes.
+1
Level 55
Sep 28, 2023
I was completely stumped on the Milk Maid one. I put in Dairy Maid multiple times, because I couldn't figure out why it wasn't being accepted. Could Dairy Maid possibly be accepted as an alternative?
+1
Level 33
Jan 5, 2024
28/28
+1
Level 44
Jan 15, 2024
Cool quiz!

Question: could "bricklayer" be an acceptable answer for "one who builds with brick or stone", or was that term not yet used in the Middle Ages? (if not then understandable).

Similar question for "bellhop" (one who carries luggage) - I'm not sure when that term became used so maybe it was only after the Middle Ages.

Just asking, thanks!