A reader asked had I ever heard of a Washer Man? Hmmm?

I asked a beta reader to read a book about a little girl growing up in the 1960’s. Her mother worked as a washerwoman. And the reader after reading it and giving her opinion asked have I ever heard of a Washer Man?

Hmmm? No I had not. Well, they introduced me to a new word.

Dhobi ( transl. ‘washerman’), known in some places as Dhupi or Rajaka (‘remover of dirt’), is a group of castes in India and the greater Indian subcontinent whose traditional occupations are washing and ironing clothes. … The word dhobi is derived from the Hindi word dhona, which means ‘to wash’.

A man who washes clothes, linens, etc., for hire; laundryman. The definition of a dhobi is a person who washes clothes in India.

I learned something new. πŸ™‚

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
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25 Responses to A reader asked had I ever heard of a Washer Man? Hmmm?

  1. Priti says:

    Yes it is the word Dhonn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Priti says:

    From there the word dhobi came.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Burnt says:

    Can you tell me a little more about the book? Learned a new word, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure. it’s the story of the Civil Rights Movement as seen through the eyes of an African American child whose mother worked as a washerwoman and how these unskilled women were left stranded by the movement which took away their jobs but provided them with no other recourse.
      No, a maid nor washerwoman was an uplifting job, but when these things were taken away many women and children were left stranded or having to rely on the Welfare system. And many places made getting the assistant one needed a living nightmare.

      The primary focus of the Civil Rights movement was the plight of black men not the black family.


  4. Almost all these trades disappeared here after WW2 although you will find a launderette and a pressing service in even very small towns. Now, I’m prompted to find out whether dhobi also covers ironing as I seem to recall they were different people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I too, looked for more information on the occupation of a dhobi and found very little. I think it may have died out with the end of British colonization of India. I’m only able to find launderette and a few pressing services, therefore, I’m starting to wonder was it a Downton Abbey kind of thing, died out with the change of social and political climate of the nation, much like the African American washerwoman. An occupation forced upon the people during colonization. Washer woman, just as housekeeping was once part of the African American sharecropper’s wife job. It was usually done to pay for the hovel she and her family lived in or pay down the even increasing tab at the general store.

      Liked by 1 person

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