barrow man

(redirected from barrow men)

barrow man

1. A boy or man who sells goods (usually fruit, vegetables, or other comestibles) from a handcart (barrow) on the streets. Primarily heard in UK. When spring arrives, you can hear the calls of barrow men selling their goods along the avenues.
2. obsolete A prison convict whose sentence is transportation (deportation to a penal colony, such as the Americas or Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries). The term refers to Woolwich prison bulk inmates whose primary labor was to haul dirt and bricks in wheelbarrows. Primarily heard in UK. I was once a barrow man on the street, selling fruit to the people; but then I killed a man for money, and now I am a barrow man set for Australia.
See also: barrow, man
References in periodicals archive ?
Eddie writes: "I really enjoy your column, but you have never mentioned that wonderful gang of barrow men and women, including those who worked along Great Homer Street, who did more for the people of Liverpool than all of your MPs put together.
Owing to these construction features, the large-wheeled barrow, despite its size, could be employed in transporting heavy loads, and the barrow men could work them all day, making the vehicle suitable for middle and even long-distance mobility.
The barrow men, exerting themselves, grunt like bulls.
Unfortunately we know even less about the barrow men than we know about their barrows, so that any attempt at reconstructing work conditions and organisation has to rely on conjecture.
We may assume that barrow men were organised along the general lines of late imperial transport.
40) The early departure shows that barrow men, having no draught animals to look after, were able to spend more hours per day on the road than carts or pack animal trains.
The council's area management department has increased its fleet of dolly barrow men and women as part of its commitment to create a cleaner borough.
The increase in barrow men and women demonstrates our commitment to improving the cleanliness of our environment.
Health boss Tim Moloney said yesterday: "We're sure most residents would prefer to see five barrow men on the streets rather than a chief exec with a smart car and a mobile phone.