Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British One who sells fruit, vegetables, fish, or other goods from a cart, barrow, or stand in the streets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a trader who sells fruit and vegetables from a barrow in the street

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An apple seller; a hawker of, or dealer in, any kind of fruit or vegetables; a fruiterer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A hawker of fruits and vegetables. Also coster, and formerly costardmonger.
  • Mercenary; sordid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hawker of fruit and vegetables from a barrow

Etymologies

Obsolete costard-monger : costard + monger.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from costard + monger (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A costermonger is a street seller of fruit and vegetables.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • A soldier glares at the two Prushim, who suddenly take an interest in the wares of a costermonger. nun vav

    Evan Eisenberg: Mary Christ (Part 7)

  • The costermonger Ewen Keeley used this barrow to sell fruit and vegetables on London's streets.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • If a cab should be coming through from the Place de Greve while a costermonger-woman was pushing her little truck of apples in from the Rue du Martroi, a third vehicle of any kind produced difficulties.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • She stood square on her feet, her hands on her hips, for she was dressed as a costermonger.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • So the sham costermonger could easily and quickly run her truck down to the bottom of the quay, and hide it there till the real owner — who was, in fact, drinking the price of her wares, sold bodily to Asie, in one of the abominable taverns in the Rue de la

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • We are as great friends to horses, hackney – coach and otherwise, as the renowned Mr. Martin, of costermonger notoriety, and yet we never ride.

    Sketches by Boz

  • The daughter of a costermonger, Maisie has risen somewhat above the limitations often encountered by members of her class.

    Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear: Questions

  • He pats the heads of street boys and girls; relishes the jokes of Jack the costermonger and Bob the dustman; good-naturedly spies out Molly the cook flirting with policeman X, or Mary the nursemaid as she listens to the fascinating guardsman.

    John Leech's Pictures of Life and Character

  • The ladies were in their pokiest old head-gear and most dingy gowns, when they perceived the carriage approaching; and considering, of course, that the visit of the Park people was intended for them, dashed into the rectory to change their clothes, leaving Rowkins, the costermonger, in the very midst of the negotiation about the three mackerel.

    The Newcomes

Comments

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  • I found this word in the Brothers Karamazov
    A fascinating origin from the New Oxford American Dictionary:
    costermonger is an apple-seller, among other things, and the "coster" part comes from "costard," a large ribbed cooking apple. "Costard" also used to be used to refer humorously to a person's head, naturally enough. It is derived from the Latin "costa," for rib or side. The word coast is also derived from this root, coming from the phrase "side of the sea."

    August 18, 2011

  • “A costermonger was a street seller of fruit and vegetables. The term, which derived from the words costard (a type of large ribbed apple) and monger, i.e. "seller", came to be particularly associated with the "barrow boys" of London who would sell their produce from a wheelbarrow or wheeled market stall.�?

    Wikipedia

    November 20, 2008