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[#13407] Meaning of 'Pige'


Guest Julianna J

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Guest Julianna J

On my great-grandmother's emigration record from Norway, her occupation is listed as 'Pige'. I would be very interested to know what that means.Also in the 1865 census her father's occupation is listed as 'Tomtearbeider'. I think arbeider may mean worker but can't find tomte anywhere. Thanks in advance for help with both words.

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Guest Terje Hatvik

The word 'pige' litterally means girl. As a description of her civic / martial status the term 'pige' would thus equal an unmarried girl, a maiden. And as a formal title (but not an occupation) 'pige' should therefore be translated to 'Miss'; i.e. Miss so-and-so.But in this context (and similar records) where 'pige' is listed as an occupation the meaning is somewhat altered /slightly different, here the term 'pige' would rather be the equivalent of a maid or a chambermaid.The word 'tomtearbeider' is -as already indicated by yourself- a worker, a labourer. A tomt means a site, a particular parcel of land separated from surrounding area with clearly defined borders, normally designated for building purposes; i.e. where erection of new houses is allowed.A 'tomtearbeider' is a worker who clears the ground of the site in question for soil, dirt and gravel by force with shovels, spades an similar tools; to enable the construction works to commence. Indeed, very physical labour.A Construction Worker is perhaps an appropriate anglosaxon translation of the norwegian occupation 'tomtearbeider', though not 100 per cent accurate.Hopefully you'll find these attempted explanations satisfying.Regards, Terje

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Guest Kristian Fjedsgård

I dissagree with Terjes definition of Tomtearbeider. In 1865 a Tomt was an area were wares were stored. Usually I believe a Tomtearbeider was connect with saw-/timber mills. Working outside at the 'tomt' or storage field.A further research of where he came from could give a more secure definition.

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