In Britain, a 'totter' is also a person who is licensed to trawl through rubbish dumps and recycling centres for discarded items or material that they can sell for scrap or repair to use or sell on. Such an occupation is known as 'totting'.

Although not a common sight, totters perform a similar function to the increasingly-rare rag and bone man.


References

http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/bens/ben05.htm

Tot"ter (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Tottered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tottering.] [Probably for older tolter; cf. AS. tealtrian to totter, vacillate. Cf.Tilt to incline, Toddle, Tottle, Totty.]

1.

To shake so as to threaten a fall; to vacillate; to be unsteady; to stagger; as,an old man totters with age.

"As a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence."

Ps. lxii. 3.

2.

To shake; to reel; to lean; to waver.

Troy nods from high, and totters to her fall. Dryden.

 

© Webster 1913.

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