Barrow boy

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Barrow boy is a British expression with two meanings, occupational and social. Street traders since the 19th century (and perhaps earlier) sold seasonal goods (especially vegetables) from two-wheeled barrows.[1] London street traders were called costermongers (from costard, the mediaeval word for apple) and more generally barrow boys, since anything could be sold from a barrow (including clothes, crockery, etc.)

London's banks and investment brokerages were since their foundation privileged enclaves of wealth and high social standing. After modernization in the 1980s[2] they ceased to be reserves of class privilege, and employed Cockneys of proven ability as traders; such staff might be sneered at as "barrow boys" by traditionalist bankers or brokers.[3]

In British mountain rescue terminology, a barrow boy is the person who guides a stretcher during a crag (steep rugged mass of rock) rescue.[4] Conventionally there are two barrow boys, one at each end of a horizontal stretcher (though it may be vertical) which may contain a casualty. The barrow boys may operate on fixed or moving ropes, and guide the progress of the stretcher to safer ground.

In more generic terms, a Barrow boy may also refer to a boy from a place called Barrow.

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