Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pig; pork.
  • n. One who scavenges in river or harbor mud for items of value, especially in London during the Industrial Revolution. Also applies to a person scavenging sewers. A person that begs near a river. (rare) A sewer cleaner. (rare)
  • n. A child who spends most of their time in the streets especially in slum areas. A child who plays in the mud. Any dirty or unkempt person.
  • n. Nickname for a soldier of the Royal Engineers.
  • n. Assorted birds that are found in muddy places or build their nests with mud. Especially Anthus petrosus and Alauda arvensis.
  • n. The Grallina cyanoleuca that builds its nest with mud into a bowl like shape.
  • n. A racing horse that performs well on muddy or wet tracks.

Etymologies

From mud +‎ lark. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It was found by a mudlark – one of the small army of amateur archaeologists who scour the beaches and mudflats of the river at low tide.

    Medieval roof finial found beside Thames

  • You wade along in this way step by step, like a mudlark at Portsmouth

    South: the story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914–1917

  • With the aid of a mudlark -- a mere barge boy, who probably had no more right on the barge than Jules himself -- Racksole had won his game.

    The Grand Babylon Hotel

  • There is at least one powerful bond, though it may not always awake sympathy, between mudlark and monarch -- that of hunger.

    Sir Gibbie

  • I now became a regular mudlark, though I got employment when I could by running on errands and in assisting the boatmen on the river.

    Peter Biddulph The Story of an Australian Settler

  • All our talk of the middle class these days is fine, but Dickens knew the higher and the lower, the much lower: the mudlark, the wasting orphan, the prison child, the crossing sweeper, the dun, the dustman, the shabby clerk, the street philosopher.

    Slate Articles

  • Carlisle 2.50 Ultra-competitive stuff but the mudlark

    Blogposts | guardian.co.uk

  • A noted mudlark, Purple is unbeaten from two attempts on heavy tracks, and has recorded three wins and a placing from five starts on slow ground.

    AustralianIT.com.au | Top Stories

  • Deteriorating conditions are not a concern for mudlark

    The Guardian World News

  • The mudlark won the Welsh National at Chepstow in December but was forced to miss the Cheltenham Festival with a slight setback, leaving connections to target the three-mile-five contest.

    Top Stories: BreakingNews.ie

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Comments

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  • Positively Dickensian.

    August 28, 2009

  • I wonder how you get an official mudlark's permit. I bet they're nigh on impossible to obtain, the product of a byzantine process, masonic ties, hereditary debts and murkly kinships.

    August 27, 2009

  • That's a really cool story. Thanks for posting! I thought I remembered this word from The Ghost Map, and apparently (sionnach's list at right) I did. :)

    August 27, 2009

  • HaHa! What a load of mudlarkey.

    August 27, 2009

  • "The ball and chain was found in a Rotherhithe barge bed by an official mudlark – there are many amateurs but only a few have permits to actually dig in the Thames foreshore – called Steve Brooker. "I almost left it there to be honest because for three weeks in a row I'd had cannonball after cannonball and this looked like another one," he said."

    - Mystery over ball and chain found in Thames, Guardian.co.uk, 26-8-9.

    August 27, 2009