Where Does The Word “Plumber” Come From?

Plumber

Plumber.

Kind of a weird word when you think about it right?

The word plumber actually comes from the times of the Roman Empire! Since the Latin word for lead is “plumbum,” there’s clearly a tie to lead and plumbers. In the Roman times, plumbers were actually those who worked with lead, which was used on drain pipes, piping, and building baths. When plumbers were working mainly with led, they were considered and expert of lead, or a “plumbarius.”

Later on, the name was shortened to “plumber,” falling into a nicer fit to the lexicon for the “doer” occupations.

Considering the amazing amount of damage that we’ve since learned lead can cause to ourselves and our children, it’s a little strange that the roots of the name for technicians who work to provide clean water to citizens relate directly to something that’s very dangerous to their customers.

So next time you’re looking for a great piece of trivia to stump your friend, look no farther than the origins of the word “plumber.”