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"qualified worker at a craft or trade who works for wages for another" (a position between apprentice and master), early 15c., from journey (n.), preserving the etymological sense of the word, + man (n.). Figurative depricatory sense of "hireling, drudge" is from 1540s. Its American English colloquial shortening jour (adj.) is attested from 1835.
A skilled artisan who works on hire for master artisans rather than for himself.