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banker n OED ~3 1 (1666-1769), DAE ~1 1 (1704-1880), DC (Nfld: 1777-) for sense 1; DAE 1 b (1861-), DC 2 (Nfld: 1907-) for sense 2.
   1 A vessel engaged in cod-fishing on the Newfoundland offshore grounds, esp the Grand Banks.
   [1749] 1755 DOUGLASS i, 292 In Newfoundland they reckon ... 200 quintals to the inhabitants boat or shallop, and 500 quintals to a banker. [1777] 1792 CARTWRIGHT ii, 233 The Americans had taken his Majesty's frigate Fox and several bankers upon the banks of Newfoundland. [1794] 1968 THOMAS 104 1 afterwards gave this Garment to a Fisherman who went out on a Banker to Fish on the Grand Banks. 1832 MCGREGOR i, 226 The bankers, or vessels fishing on the banks, usually anchor where they find plenty of cod, which they catch with lines and hooks, or occasionally with jiggers. 1907 MILLAIS 150 During the summer the men [of the South Coast] fish, mostly in 'bankers,'off the coast. [1929] 1979 Evening Telegram 10 July, p. 26 Seventeen bankers baited at Cape Broyle yesterday and 20 more are baiting there today. 1933 Nfld Royal Commission Report 97 The fishery is conducted from Newfoundland by schooners of up to 150 tons, known as 'Bankers,' carrying a complement of 20-24 men and 10-12 dories. T 411-67 We call them the bankers. We've seen as high as twenty or thirty come to get ice. We would help them to take the ice out o' the ice-house and load the dories to be carried aboard the bankers. 1969 HORWOOD 174 'We didn't always have this Sunday-morning look, though,' a retired merchant confessed, 'not when we had nineteen bankers sailing out of [Grand Bank] harbour.'
   2 A fisherman engaged in the offshore or 'bank' fishery.
   [1794] 1968 THOMAS 174 A Banker is not a little proud of his Dog at Sea. [1839] 1916 Nfld Law Reports 27 The jury find that in the year 1826 the insolvents carried on business to a pretty considerable extent ... the supplies so obtained by them were applied entirely and exclusively to the supply of bankers and boat-keepers, from whom they received fish in payment. 1933 GREENLEAF xxxv On the southeast coast live the 'Bankers,' who evidently have a store of chanteys as yet unrecorded. 1947 TANNER ii, 753 The floaters differentiate between the so-called Labradormen, who fish exclusively on the coast of Labrador, and Bankers, who fish chiefly on the great fishing banks outside Newfoundland, and in the autumn make a trip to Labrador to increase their catch. T 50/2--64 [The trawl lines are] baited in the boat and then they're sot—slapped overboard, one at a time. The bankers can do it with a gaff—flick them out as fast as time. M 68-16 When the bankers used to come to Cape Broyle looking for bait, they would rent out the parish hall and have a dance.
   3 The owner or operator of an offshore fishing vessel.
   1979 NEMEC 254 Also prominent in the settlement were fishery suppliers (merchants or their agents), the doctor, planters, telegraph operators, [and] 'bankers' (large vessel operators).

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