Green’s Dictionary of Slang

counter-hopper n.

also counter-spank
[var. on counter-jumper n.]

a store clerk, a male shop assistant, also used as a pej. term.

[US]R. Waln Hermit in America on Visit to Phila. 206: It is the summer of hopes and wishes of one half the clerks, counter-hoppers, and quill-drivers in the city.
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 30 Oct. 3/5: Several of the gentlemen [...] said that [...] no counter-hopper or clerk should become a member.
Jefferson Republican (Stroudsberg, PA) 31 Oct. 2/2: The tickets were sent to Stroudsberg for a federal counter-hopper by a Philadelphia merchant.
Protage Sentinel (Ravenna, OH) 18 Nov. 2/2: Every village in the State can produce a counter hopper who ‘knows too much to suck such a story’.
[UK]N. Devon Jrnl 15 Oct. 6/1: Behold the latest bolts of Jove, / Hurl’d at the Counter-Hopper. / [...] / Declaring such employment quite absurd.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 44/2: The spectacles are sold principally to working men [...] ‘The eye glasses,’ said a man who vended them, ‘is sold to what I calls counter-hoppers and black-legs.’.
[UK]Graphic (London) 3 Dec. 11/2: The man [...] sneered at him as a ‘counter-hopper’.
[UK]Sacramento Weekly Union 24 Feb. 2: All the boys to be trained as scriveners, tape-measurers, counter-hoppers, clerks, pettifoggers, polite loafers, [...] [F&H].
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 221: ‘Do I look like a sucker?’ ‘No, Bill; you look like a nice, smart counter-hopper.’.
[US]Baxter Spring News (KS) 27 Jan. 4/2: He commenced to revive, and within ten days filled the position of chief counter-hopper.
[US]S.F. Call 28 Jan. 2/1: Being a saleslady, ore less elegantly speaking, a ‘counter hopper’ means many things.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 165: ‘Sure, they’re little betther than counter-hoppers,’ sez he.
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 14 March 13: You know this town is full of counter-hoppers that go around and tell every girl they meet they are moving picture actors.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day By Day 29 Aug. [synd. col.] He was just a shy little fellow, the type that might be hopping counters in a Broadway haberdashery.
[US]Daily Ardmoreite (OK) 25 June 3/1: The mercantile business lured the pioneer ‘counter-hopper’ back into the game.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 161: Some o’ that Green Dragon bunch. Clerks and counter hoppers all day.
[NZ]N. Hilliard Maori Girl 210: Don’t let these counter-spanks rush you. They’ll kid you into taking something you don’t want unless you learn to talk back.