Meaning of top-sawyer in English:



  • 1mainly historical A sawyer holding the upper handle of a pit saw and standing in the upper position above the saw pit.

    ‘The top-sawyer, standing on a tall sawhorse here, was required to pull the saw up and direct it carefully.’
    • ‘Every street was a sawpit, and there were no top-sawyers; every passenger was an under-sawyer, with the sawdust blinding him and choking him.’
    1. 1.1 archaic A distinguished person.
      ‘These are top-sawyers with more than 10 years work experience in the field of metrology.’
      • ‘There are some grinders who have superior opera instruments, and who are reg'ler top-sawyers of the purfession.’
      • ‘See-saw is the fashion of England always; and the Whigs will soon be the top-sawyers.’
      • ‘They say that each age should take it turn and turn about, week by week, one week the old to be top-sawyers, and the other the young, drawing the line at thirty-five years of age; but they insist that the young should be allowed to inflict corporal chastisement on the old, without which the old would be quite incorrigible.’