Journeyman cook and chief stewards


The ship’s cook in Viking times was called a journeyman cook, and according to old law texts the cook on a warship ashore had to fetch fresh water and make hot meals three times a day.

Origin of the title

The word journeyman comes from the French word journee, which means the period of one day. The title refers to the journeyman's right to charge a fee for each day's work. Journeyman would normally be employed by a master craftsman, but would live apart and might have a family of their own. A journeyman could not employ others. In contrast, an apprentice would be bound to a master, usually for a fixed term of seven years, and lived with the master as a member of the household, receiving most or all compensation in the form of food and lodging.

In parts of Europe, as in later medieval Germany, spending time as a journeyman (Geselle), moving from one town to another to gain experience of different workshops, was an important part of the training of an aspirant master. Carpenters in Germany have retained the tradition of traveling journeymen even today, although only a few still practice it. In France, journeymen were known as compagnons.

The terms jack and knave are sometimes used as informal words for journeyman. Hence the expression "jack of all trades, master of none" as someone who is educated in several fields, but is not an expert in any one.