- Maid is also a shortened form of "maiden", an archaic word for an unmarried woman or a
- MAID is also a acronym of Massive array of idle
- Maid is also a Bosniac
Smedley maid illustration 1906
or in current usage
is a female employed in domestic service
. Once part of an elaborate
hierarchy in great houses
, today a
single maid may be the only domestic
middle-income households can afford, as was always the case for
many households. In the Western world
comparatively few households can afford live-in domestic help,
usually compromising on periodic cleaners. In less developed
nations, very large differences in the income of urban and rural
households and between different socio-economic classes, fewer
educated women and limited opportunities for working women ensures
a labour source for domestic work.
Maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing
, washing, cleaning the house, grocery
shopping, walking the family dog, and taking care of children. In
many places in some poor countries
often take on the role of a nurse in taking care of the elderly and
people with disabilities. Many maids are required by their
employers to wear a uniform
Types of maid
Maids traditionally have a fixed position in the hierarchy of the
large households, and although there is overlap between definitions
(dependant on the size of the household) the positions themselves
would typically be rigidly adhered to. The usual types of maid are:
- Head house parlour-maid (alternatively known as head housemaid
or head parlour-maid); answerable to the housekeeper or butler.
- House parlour-maids (or simply housemaid), or under house
parlour-maid, if there is only one; answerable to the head house
parlour-maid or in the case of an under house parlour-maid, to the
- Chambermaids (also known as housemaids) — a chambermaid is a
maid who specifically cleans and cares for bedrooms, and is a more
common term in hotels rather than riching
- Nursery maid — specifically for
looking after children; generally answerable to the nanny.
- Kitchen maid; answerable to the
- Between maid — a potentially
difficult rôle picking up miscellaneous jobs and (problematically)
answerable to the housekeeper, butler, and cook.
- Scullery maid (also known as the
cinder maid); answerable to the cook.
- Lady's maid — outside of the normal
hierarchy, the lady's maid was a senior servant who reported
directly to the lady of the house.
However, in many households a single
all the staff there was. In several developing countries, working
as a maid is still one of the main possibilities a poor young girl
may have to earn an income.
In popular culture
One of the
most in-depth and enduring representations of the lives of several
levels of maid was seen in the 1970s television drama (set in
Maid cleaning the fireplace