Meaning of small coal man in English:

small coal man

Pronunciation /ˌsmɔːl ˈkəʊl man/


  • Originally: a man who supplies small coal. In later use: a retailer of coal on a small scale, a small coal merchant.

    When used with historical reference to small coal men before the mid 19th century the term is apparently frequently understood in its later sense.


Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Henry Adamson (bap. 1581, d. 1637), poet and historian. From small coal + man.