from The Century Dictionary.
- noun Work done on a ladder, as painting, stuccoing, and the like: a workmen's term. For such work a ladder is often slung horizontally by its ends, to make a platform.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
For those of you who enjoy the quaint detail of Victorian houses, I mention that our front porch has 134 turned spindles in that delicate ladder-work under the roof.