| OK - While I was in Glastonbury a few years back, I noticed a 'Tinkers Lane'
| in the lower town.
| I wonder if you are correct that the word 'tinker' is of Irish
So far as I know it is of _Gaelic_ origin --
The term "ceard" in Gaelic is a very old one, today signifying "craft"
or "trade", but in older times also signifying the dignified position of
When the bottom fell out of Gaelic society (when it was torn out by
an unnamed alien people) these itinerant craftsmen lost much of their
high status, not having the patronage and support to maintain a "high"
level of industry, they were reduced to a more folk-craft level, many of
them taking to the road and making rounds to serve people at home, and
working largely with Tin as their metal: and thus the name "Tin-Ceard",
A very interesting must-read article on the topic of the Gaelic-based
language of the Tinkers, in which there are suggestive survival of
very Old Irish forms, is: "Shelta: The Caird's Language" by David MacRitchie
in Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness XXIV.