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A tosher is someone who scavenges in the sewers, a sewer-hunter, especially in London during the Victorian era. The word tosher was also used to describe the thieves who stripped valuable copper from the hulls of ships moored along the Thames. The related slang term "tosh" referred to valuables thus collected. Both "tosher" and "tosh" are of unknown origin.[1][2]

In fiction[edit]

A tosher in Victorian London is the profession of the title character in Dodger, a 2012 novel by Terry Pratchett.[3]

The character Murky John is a Tosher in Year of the Rabbit Series 1 Episode 2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1851, H. Mayhew, London Labour, vol. II, p 150/2: "The sewer-hunters were formerly, and indeed are still, called by the name of ‘Toshers’, the articles which they pick up in the course of their wanderings along shore being known among themselves by the general term ‘tosh’, a word more particularly applied by them to anything made of copper."
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Tosh". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  3. ^ Doubleday. ISBN 9780385619271

External links[edit]