bootblack n : a person who polishes shoes and boots [syn: shoeblack]
- A shoeshine boy; a person who shines shoes as an occupation.
Shoeshiner is a profession in which a person polishes shoes with shoe polish. They are often known as shoeshine boys because the job is traditionally that of a male child. While the role is deprecated in much of Western civilisation there are children that earn an important wage for their family in many countries throughout the world. Some shoeshiners offer extra services, such as shoe repairs and general tailoring. Many well-known and high profile people started their working life as shoeshiners, including singers and presidents.
HistoryShoe polish was not well known as a commercial product until the early 20th century. Throughout the late 19th century shoeshine boys plied their trade on the streets, particularly those in the cities of the United Kingdom.
Portrayal in popular cultureShoeshiners have featured in:
- Boot Polish, a 1954 Hindi film
- "Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy", a song performed by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra amongst others
- Confessions of a Wall Street Shoeshine Boy, a novel by Doug Stumpf currently being adapted into a screenplay
- El Bolero de Raquel, 1956 Mexican film starring Cantinflas
- Scrooge McDuck famously won his Number One Dime shining shoes.
- Shoe Shine Boy, a 1943 film musical
- Shoeshine, a 1946 Italian film which received honours at the 1948 Academy Awards
- Underdog, an animated television series in which an anthropomorphic dog, Shoeshine Boy, battles crime as a canine superhero.
bootblack in Spanish: Limpiabotas
bootblack in Polish: Pucybut
bootblack in Chinese: 擦鞋工
Ganymede, Hebe, airline hostess, airline stewardess, attendant, batman, bellboy, bellhop, bellman, boots, cabin boy, caddie, chore boy, copyboy, cupbearer, errand boy, errand girl, footboy, gofer, hostess, office boy, office girl, orderly, page, squire, steward, stewardess, tender, trainbearer, usher, yeoman