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Tinkers is a term for a group of Irish Travellers who worked with tin and mended pots and pans from door to door in rural Ireland before urbanisation in the 1960's. This is a perjoritive term these days and is used to insult Irish Travellers, as gyppo is to insult Romani people (different ethnic nomads in Britain & Ireland).

Not all Irish Travellers were tinkers (from tinsmithing or tinsmith) as there were horse dealers, market traders etc.

Irish Travellers have their own distinct culture, traditions, way of life and language and are indigenious to Ireland and are said to be here in Ireland before the Celts arrived in Ireland 500 yrs BC.
"irish travellers are all tinkers"

"No, its a term, often negative"

by tinker-boy August 15, 2006
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May 16 Word of the Day
Abbreviation for:

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by Callmemaybe69 May 14, 2021
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Commonly used to define members of the Irish travelling community. The previous definition cites the use of 'tinker' in this context as ignorant. Maybe he/she is a tinker (in the metalwork sense of the word) and does not like his traditional profession to be used in such a manner. I would like to add that Irish travellers traditionally were very improvising metal workers and sold pots made of scrap metal to make a living (as opposed to topping trees badly and laying poor quality tarmacam like they do now).This is the long-standing origin of the association of Irish travellers with the word 'tinker'. They are tinkers. Hence the phrase, ' Any scrap copper there boss'.
There was war at that tinker's funeral in Balinasloe there last week- all the pubs and shops were closed for the week
by gc May 06, 2005
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noun--A non-professional person skilled at mechanical or electrical inventions and/or repairs.

verb--To engage in minor repairs or inventing.
John's an excellent tinker; he got my lawn-mower running in ten minutes.

John's always tinkering. His latest widget gets my mail and throws away the ads.
by Anonymus Bosch September 29, 2005
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Shortening of the word "tinceard" which is Gaelic for Tinsmith. Commonly used to describe Irish Travellers, although many now consider it an insult. People get confused between Gypsy's of Romany decent, and Irish Tinkers. Mainly because their so ignorant and born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
by thomgael August 09, 2003
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Although usually meaning Irish travellers can also be used to refer to someone dirty or unhygenic in appearence or smell...

Me: Oh, whats that smell?
Friend: Its that tinker over there!
Me: What a dirty smelly tinker!
by boo boop your nose February 28, 2009
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Widely known as Irish gypsies residing in Ireland and also in the UK. My Irish nan used to tell my mum that if she was naughty one evening that she would "leave her outside for the tinkers", as it was said that they stole children.

Another meaning of tinkers is esctasy pills.
"got any tinkers?" or "tinkers, tinkers, anyone wanna buy any tinkers?" as some drug dealers in nightclubs in the South East of England would say.
by maya2007 May 10, 2007
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