"lead hung on a string to show the vertical line," early 14c., from Old French *plombe, plomee "sounding lead," and directly from Late Latin *plumba, originally plural of Latin plumbum "lead (the metal), lead ball; pipe; pencil," a word of unknown origin, related to Greek molybdos "lead" (dialectal bolimos) and perhaps from an extinct Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian.
Robots won’t eat all the jobs, says Marco Zappacosta, the CEO and co-founder of Thumbtack, a marketplace for service professionals from plumbers to yoga teachers to personal trainers. — Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Why the robot apocalypse won’t kill all gig economy jobs," 16 June 2018 Most people will accept spending $80/hour on a plumber, but balk at putting a similar price tag on the value of their company’s website. — Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "Fundamentals of hiring a freelance designer for your business," 19 Mar. 2018 Then a team of plumbers begins restarting the system around St. Patrick’s Day, with the aim of having all outdoor water features back up and running by Memorial Day weekend. — Keith Williams, New York Times, "It’s Hot. How Do I Get the Spray Shower at the Park to Work?," 19 June 2018 The full-time employees losing their jobs include electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other skilled tradespeople needed to operate and maintain a large events venue. — James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Many long-time Bradley Center workers will not have jobs at the new Bucks arena," 11 May 2018 There are female plumbers, taxi-drivers and bartenders. — The Economist, "How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria," 28 June 2018 That is a huge departure from construction sites, where unions representing plumbers, electricians, carpenters and various other trades each control their piece of the building process. — Conor Dougherty, New York Times, "Piece by Piece, a Factory-Made Answer for a Housing Squeeze," 7 June 2018 Ask any principal of a vocational school who is recruiting teachers who can prepare students for traditional jobs like auto mechanic, plumber, aviation mechanic and those needed for advanced manufacturing. — WSJ, "Time for Vocational Education Renaissance," 23 May 2018 The biggest violators, in Pakenham’s experience, are plumbers, electricians, and carpenters. — Elizabeth Royte, Daily Intelligencer, "George Pakenham is waging a one-man war on air pollution on the Upper West Side.," 10 July 2018
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The word "plumber" dates from the Roman Empire. The Latin for lead is plumbum. Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead, lead was also used for piping and for making baths. In medieval times anyone who worked with lead was referred to as a plumber as can be seen from an extract of workmen fixing a roof in Westminster Palace and were referred to as plumbers "To Gilbert de Westminster, plumber, working about the roof of the pantry of the little hall, covering it with lead, and about various defects in the roof of the little hall". Thus a person with expertise in working with lead was first known as a Plumbarius which was later shortened to plumber.