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Journeyman origin?

Posted by Matt on January 15, 2003

I have been a journeyman machinist for years now, but until recently I have wondered where the phrase came from and its origins. Many other trades use this title also after a four year apprenticeship program has been completed. I am curious to know from what period this came from and why call an experienced craftsman journeyman. Also I have heard that due to language barriers in Europe durring possibly the middle ages, that tattoo's were applied for your various trade after completion of apprenticeship. Thus allowing you to aquire work in your trade in different countries as a craftsman regardless if you spoke the local dialect or not. kind of a sign that you have"paid your dues" so to speak. Any info about any of this would be appreciated. thank you.