You have heard of: ‘wrong side of the tracks’ ‘dogtown’ ‘irish town’ and all sorts of slang for areas of a town or city. In the 1800’s Carleton Place had an area of town that had a name that was in everyone’s vocabulary. The area of town that sat between Miguel Street and Lake Ave East was called Chiselville. There is a Chiselville bridge in Vermont, but last I looked there was no bridge in the vicinity.
The Carleton Place Herald made mention that they had no idea when or how the area got the name. There was certainly no stigma attached to it, for the word then did not carry the unpleasant suggestion that modern slang had attached to it. Did they mean the inhabitants of the area had a notoriety of being cheap? Or– did they work hard for their money by doing dirty deeds done dirt cheap?
1500, “to break with a chisel,” from chisel (n.). Slang sense of “to cheat, defraud” is first recorded in 1808 as chizzel; origin and connection to the older word are obscure (compare slang sense of gouge); chiseler in this sense is from 1918. Related: Chiseled; chiseling.