I recently heard from a German lady that there exists a tradition in Germany where journeyman carpenters travel around the country, doing odd jobs in different towns for pay and accommodations. These journeyman carpenters are called "Zimmerman". Thus, I became interested in the term that is also my last name.

Apparently it is an old German custom that after a journeyman craftsman has completed his journeyman's test, he goes "on the tramp" with a characteristic hat, staff and bundle of belongings. Behold:

Although maybe less common nowadays, German carpenters still wear their black corduroy suit, complete with bell bottom pants, large floppy black hat, golden earring, collarless shirt and heavy pocket watch.

As they travel around, they can learn from all the master craftsmen that take them in during their travels, however they cannot stay in any one place longer than 6 weeks. Zimmermann means literally "room-man" or "room-maker", suggesting the source for the surname of many people, including myself. It seems in current days that these journeymen aren't limited to German boundaries - there are master craftsmen all over the world that will take them, thus modern journeyman become world travelers.

-kim the scientist