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A person who cleans and polishes shoes for a living.


(Professions) chiefly US another word for shoeblack



a person who shines shoes and boots for a living.
[1810–20, Amer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bootblack - a person who polishes shoes and bootsbootblack - a person who polishes shoes and boots
unskilled person - a person who lacks technical training


[ˈbuːtblæk] Nlimpiabotas mf inv, bolero/a m/f (Mex), embolador(a) m/f (Col)
References in classic literature ?
After that we had everything of note, the bootblack boy, the toper with bottle, the woolly rabbit that squeaks when you hold it in your mouth; they all vanished as inexplicably as the lady, but I dared not tell him my suspicions, for he suspected also and his gentle heart would have mourned had I confirmed his fears.
eventually turned loose to prey upon the world as a bootblack or
Then he flattered himself that he looked like a true Briton, but the first time he had the mud cleaned off his shoes, the little bootblack knew that an American stood in them, and said, with a grin, "There yer har, sir.
I have known what it is to be a street-waif, a bootblack, living upon a crust of bread and sleeping in cellar stairways and under empty wagons.
bootblacks, thimble-riggers, street arabs, beggars, the blear-eyed beggars, thieves, the weakly, vagabonds, merchants, sham soldiers, goldsmiths, passed masters of pickpockets, isolated thieves.
It tells the magical story of a poor girl who tries to make a living selling matches in the cold London streets, of her heartfelt friendship with the young bootblack Arthur, her meeting with a kind wealthy girl called Charlotte, and the cruelty of her father Jebb.
While hailing my scrambles as a student leader, he urged me, as a former newsboy and bootblack, to lead the peasants in their struggle for liberation.
At my Toubkal cousins' home the luxury of the destitute puts an end to Andalusia and the pauper poses, his leg extended toward the bootblack.
In his book Ragged Dick, for example, a boy who starts with nothing but his indomitable spirit works his way up from a bootblack to a respected gentleman in New York City.
We meet Andrew, a land-owning bootblack who buffs the shoes of well-dressed men, "his face aflame with pride"; neighbors waving flags in a parade or tending their gardens, planting for a future that would change course suddenly; Freddy the schoolboy who wonders about the fathomless skies; Obadiah, Diana, Angelina, and others whose hearts are draped in melancholy musings about freedom and the elusive hope of justice.
He has relationships, both official and social, with the leaders of the community, political, religious, economic, educational; and to him the porter and the bootblack are real persons.
In 2015, he moved to provide some philosophical mediation and contemplation in an ironic way in his outstanding novel "A Man Who Hates Shoes", aiming to portray the miserable life of the bootblack who is waiting for a miracle to change his pathetic circumstances and austere life.