front door caller

little black bean

I am reading a novel called ' The borrowers avenged', author: Mary Norton

"Mr Platter had always been a 'front door caller', by reason of his staus as undertaker, and comforter of the bereaved."

Would someone like to tell me is there a special meaning of the "front door caller" in the old age of Britain?


  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The houses of the affluent had a front door and a back (or side) door - the tradesmen's entrance. Tradesmen (butcher, greengrocer, milkman, plumber etc) would never call at the front door, only at the back. Only people of the same social class (or better) would use the front door. An undertaker is a tradesman, but he was given special status because of his role. He could call at the front door.
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