1) Gourds were the large fruit of certain plants, and when these were hollowed out and dried they served as vessels or floats.

It is uncertain just when the word came to be applied to containers made of other materials but Chaucer mentioned wine in gourds and an unusual occupational nickname provides additional evidence in the fifteenth century: 1446 Et de Henrico Gourdskyn pro licencia ... ad vendendum vinum de Reynyssh per retalliam infra civitatem, York. Two other occupational terms may imply that the practice was established in the city from the early fourteenth century, perhaps brought there from the Continent: 1328 Philippus de Turnay, gourder

1336 Martin le Gourdmaker, York. Note: 1379 de Johanne Skynwyn, brewer, Cotness.

spellings gourdmaker gourdskin
places York Cotness
dates 1328 1379 1446

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