Etymology
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teller (n.)
"bank clerk who pays or receives money," late 15c., "person who keeps accounts," agent noun from tell (v.) in its secondary sense of "count, enumerate," which is the primary sense of cognate words in many Germanic languages. Earlier "person who announces or narrates" (c. 1300).
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jerk (n.2)

"tedious and ineffectual person," 1935, American English carnival slang, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from jerkwater "petty, inferior, insignificant" [Barnhart, OED]; alternatively from, or influenced by, verbal phrase jerk off "masturbate" [Rawson]. The lyric in "Big Rock Candy Mountain," sometimes offered as evidence of earlier use, apparently is "Where they hung the Turk [not jerk] that invented work."

A soda-jerk (1915; soda-jerker is from 1883) is so called for the pulling motion required to work the taps.

The SODA-FOUNTAIN CLERK
Consider now the meek and humble soda-fountain clerk,
Who draweth off the moistened air with nimble turn and jerk,
 
[etc., Bulletin of Pharmacy, August, 1902]
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secretariat (n.)

"office or official position of a secretary" in the administrative and executive sense, 1811, from French secrétariat, from Medieval Latin secretariatus "the office of a secretary," from secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant" (see secretary). Meaning "division of the Central Committee of the USSR" (with capital S-) is from 1926, from Russian sekretariat.

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neck-verse (n.)

some printed Latin text (usually Psalms li.1) "set by the ordinary of a prison before a malefactor claiming benefit of clergy, in order to test his ability to read. If the ordinary or his deputy said legit ut clericus (he reads like a clerk or scholar), the malefactor was burned in the hand and set free, thus saving his neck" [Century Dictionary]. See neck (n.) + verse (n.).

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wog (n.)
c. 1920, "a lower-class babu shipping clerk" [Partridge]; but popularized in World War II British armed forces slang for "Arab," also "native of India" (especially as a servant or laborer), roughly equivalent to American gook; possibly shortened from golliwog. Many acronym origins have been proposed, but none has been found satisfactory. Related: Wogland.
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writer (n.)
Old English writere "one who can write, clerk; one who produces books or literary compositions," agent noun from writan (see write (v.)). Meaning "sign-painter" is from 1837. Writer's cramp attested by 1843; writer's block by 1950.
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babu (n.)

also baboo, 1782, Anglo-Indian, "native clerk (originally in Bengal) who writes English," from Hindi babu, title of respect, perhaps originally "father."

In Bengal and elsewhere, among Anglo-Indians, it is often used with a slight savour of disparagement, as characterizing a superficially cultivated, but too often effeminate, Bengali. [Yule and Burnell, "Hobson-Jobson," 1886]

In reference to "the ornate and somewhat unidiomatic English of an Indian who has learnt the language principally from books" [OED] from 1878.

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scrivener (n.)

"professional penman, copyist, amanuensis, clerk," late 14c. (early 13c. as a surname), with superfluous -er + scrivein "scribe" (c. 1300, c. 1200 as a surname), from Anglo-French escrivin, Old French escrivain "a writer, notary, clerk" (Modern French écrivain), from Vulgar Latin *scribanem accusative of scriba "a scribe," from scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). For the dropping of Latin soft medial -b- to aspirated -v- in French, compare debere/devoir, caballum/cheval, habere/avoir, etc.

Middle English also had scrivable "suitable for being written on" (c. 1400); an adverb scrivenish (late 14c.); scrivenrie "craft or occupation of writing" (mid-15c.). A back-formed verb scriven "to write," especially in the wordy and repetitive style of legal documents, is attested by 1680s.

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actuary (n.)
1550s, "registrar, clerk," from Medieval Latin actuarius "copyist, account-keeper, short-hand writer," from Latin actus in the specialized sense "public business" (literally "a doing;" from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Meaning "person skilled in the calculation of chances and costs," especially as employed by an insurer, is from 1849.
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Sandy (n.)

late 15c. as a nickname for Alexander; it is a diminutive or familiar variant of the nickname Saunder, which is preserved in surnames, as in Clerk Saunders of the old Border ballad. As the typical name for a Scotsman (especially a Lowlander) from 1785; in that use also punning on the hair-color sense of sandy (adj.). Also Sawney.

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