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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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2
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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Irish scum. The lowest form of traveller. Sadly people (including me) generally still refer to them as gypsies, which they are not. If they were they might actually be human beings.

Also labelled as 'pikies' when they enter town and when they do make sure you lock everything and hide anything of value away, including scrap metal.

Have a habit of one of them trying to sell you the stolen goods from the last village while his mates are round the back stealing all your stuff to sell at the next.

Think that they have some god given right to inflict themselves upon normal honest folk while raping our council tax fund for handouts and free facilities, instead of paying to use a camp site like everyone else.
by Tinker Hater May 20, 2005
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