What Do These People Do?

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Geisha, gaffer, guru — what do they do? Do cowpunchers jab cows? Do stockbrokers break things? Here's what these people really do.

Bellhop: A hotel employee who escorts guests to their rooms, carries their luggage, and familiarizes them with their surroundings

Best boy: An assistant to a gaffer in TV and movie productions

Cabin boy: A boy who acts as a servant on a ship, especially to the captain

Caddie: A golf course worker who carries clubs and assists golfers

Cowpuncher: A ranch worker who tends cattle and horses

Diva: The principal female singer in an opera

Engineer: A person who uses the principles of math and science to plan structures such as bridges, engines, roads, and canals

Extra: A person with a nonspeaking part in a movie

Gaffer: An electrician in charge of lighting on a movie or TV set

Geisha: A Japanese woman who plays classical Japanese music and performs traditional dances at private parties in Japan

Guru: A Hindu religious teacher and spiritual guide

Hermit: A person who retires from society and lives alone, often for religious reasons

Intellectual: Someone who studies and thinks about ideas

Intelligence agent: Also called a spy

Maître d': The person who shows diners to their tables and supervises the waiters in a restaurant

Medicine man: A healer or sorcerer in a Native American tribe

Page: One who delivers messages and serves as a guide

Patron: A person who uses wealth and influence to help a person or a cause

Pirate: A person who robs ships on the high seas (outside territorial waters). Today's pirates use speedboats and carry guns.

Mary Read and Anne Bonny were female pirates in the early 1700s. Disguised as men, they served as pirates on the same ship.

Spy: One who collects and analyzes secret information about armies and battle plans

Spycatcher: One who tries to discover spies, also called a counterintelligence agent

Stand-up comedian: A person who tells jokes alone on a stage, usually in a nightclub

Stockbroker: A person who acts for others in buying and selling stocks or shares in a business

Undercover agent: Someone, usually a law enforcement agent, who pretends to be someone else in order to gain information

Valet: A personal servant who takes care of one's clothes, or a hotel employee who cares for clothes and does other personal services

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