AskDefine | Define milkman

Dictionary Definition

milkman n : someone who delivers milk

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. A man who delivers milk to households and sometimes businesses early in the morning.

Synonyms

Translations

man who delivers milk early in the morning

Extensive Definition

''This article is about the occupation of milk delivery. For the Phranc album, see Milkman (album). For the song by Aphex Twin, see Richard D. James (album). For the basketball team formerly knows as the Alaska Milkmen, see Alaska Aces (PBA)''
A milkman is a person, traditionally male, who delivers milk in milk bottles or cartons. Milk deliveries frequently occur in the morning and it is not uncommon for milkmen to deliver dairy products other than milk like eggs, cream, sometimes soft drinks and even yogurt or butter. The term "milkman" is used to refer to either a man or woman doing this work.
Originally, milk needed to be delivered to houses daily, as poor refrigeration meant it would quickly spoil. The near-ubiquity of refrigerators in homes in the developed world has decreased the need for frequent milk delivery over the past half-century and made the profession shrink in many localities sometimes to just 3 days a week and disappear totally in others. Additionally, milk delivery incurs a small cost on the price of dairy products that is increasingly difficult to justify and leaves delivered milk in a position where it is prone to theft. Historically, British, Irish, and other European milkmen have traveled in an electric vehicle called a milk float. In Australia the delivery vehicle was usually a small petrol or diesel engined truck with a covered milk-tray. In hotter areas, this tray is usually insulated.

Milkmen in Culture

  • The frequent deliveries of milkmen to homes during the day has led to a high level of familiarity with many homemakers — often female — which has made the occupation a central figure in numerous milkman jokes.
  • In the Uganda region an often used title for "king" is "Omukama", which means "superior milkman/milk bringer": a title that refers to a) the role of the leader as a feeder of the people and b) the historical tradition, that the ancient ruling class of some Ugandan kingdoms was of Hima-tribal stock (the Hima were cattle-holders).
milkman in German: Milchmann
milkman in Hebrew: חלבן
milkman in Dutch: melkboer
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