Learning About HK Law: Learning English

As I had mentioned previously, the one saving grace of having to study for these OLQE Heads is that at least I get to learn some interesting things.  During one of my revisions (as they say here in British English), I came across the HK property law that prohibits noisy, noisome or other offensive trades.  These include:

brazier, slaughterman, soap-maker, sugar-baker, fellmonger, melter of tallow, oilman, butcher, distiller, victualler or tavern-keeper, blacksmith, nightman, scavenger

So not only am I getting lessons in the law, but I’m learning ENGLISH! What the heck are a brazier, fellmonger, victualler, and tallow?

Well here are the definitions I learned:

A brazier is a container for fire, generally taking the form of an upright standing or hanging metal bowl or box. Used for holding burning coal as well as fires, a brazier allows for a source of light, heat, or cooking. …

A fellmonger was a dealer in hides or skins, particularly sheepskins, who might also prepare skins for tanning. The name is derived from the Old English ‘fell’ meaning skins and ‘monger’ meaning dealer. …

A victualler is the keeper of a restaurant or tavern or one who provisions an army, a navy, or ship with food.


Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.

But can someone please tell me what is so noisy or noisome about a nightman??


3 responses to “Learning About HK Law: Learning English

  1. Pingback: CDotD: Your Security Deposit is NOT Guaranteed! | Because It's Time

  2. Hi, nice blog!
    A nightman empties nightsoil from cesspits. It is pretty noisome!

  3. Robyn above is correct. A ‘nightman’ is different from a ‘night watchman,’ and a source of confusion for (still) many people because of the two similar-sounding (?) terms.

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