Words related to upholsterer


Old English -istre, from Proto-Germanic *-istrijon, feminine agent suffix used as the equivalent of masculine -ere (see -er (1)). Also used in Middle English to form nouns of action (meaning "a person who ...") without regard for gender.

The genderless agent noun use apparently was a broader application of the original feminine suffix, beginning in the north of England, but linguists disagree over whether this indicates female domination of weaving and baking trades, as represented in surnames such as Webster, Baxter, Brewster, etc. (though spinster probably carries an originally female ending). Also whitester "one who bleaches cloth;" kempster (c. 1400; Halliwell has it as kembster) "woman who cleans wool." Chaucer ("Merchant's Tale") has chidester "an angry woman." In Modern English, the suffix has been productive in forming derivative nouns (gamester, punster, rodster "angler," etc.).

uphold (v.)
c. 1200, "support, sustain," from up (adv.) + hold (v.). Similar formation in Old Frisian upholda, Middle Dutch ophouden, German aufhalten. Meaning "maintain in good condition or repair" is from 1570s. Related: Upheld; upholding.
caterer (n.)

"provider of food or provisions," mid-15c., earlier simply cater (see cater (v.)). With redundant -er (compare poulterer, sorcerer, upholsterer).

poulterer (n.)

"dealer in poultry, one whose business is the sale of poultry (also hares, game, etc.) for the table," 1630s, a redundancy, but it has largely ousted original poulter (mid-13c., pulter), from Anglo-French poleter, pulleter, Old French pouletier "poulterer," from pouletrie (see poultry). With agent suffix -er (1). Compare upholsterer.

upholster (v.)
1853, back-formation from upholsterer. Related: Upholstered; upholstering.