- A female servant, a maid
- 1611 ''Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.'' Deuteronomy 5:12-13 KJV
A maidservant or in current usage maid is a female employed in domestic service. Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today the maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford. 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, maids 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 maidIn hierarchical order, the types of maids in a large household are:
- Head House Parlour-maid (or Head Housemaid, Head Parlour-maid)
- House Parlour-maids (or simply housemaid) (Under House Parlour-maid, if there is only one)
- Chambermaids (also known as housemaids); a chambermaid is a maid who cleans and cares for bedrooms
- Nursery maids
- Kitchen maids, also Between maid (Hall girl in the US)
- Scullery maids also known as the Cinder maid
- 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, rather than to the housekeeper or butler.
The position of chambermaid is also a job commonly found in hotels. Their job is mainly to clean the rooms of guests.
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.
maidservant in German: Magd
maidservant in Spanish: Sirvienta
maidservant in Japanese: メイド
maidservant in Russian: Горничная
maidservant in Simple English: Maid
maidservant in Swedish: Hembiträde
maidservant in Chinese: 女傭