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Jul 14, 2022
This week’s theme
Words that appear to be misspelled

This week’s words
staddle
dragoon
specie
navvy
compromis

navvy
The Railway Navvies
Image: Amazon

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

navvy

PRONUNCIATION:
(NAV-ee)

MEANING:
noun: A laborer or a construction worker.

ETYMOLOGY:
Short for navigator, from Latin navigator (sailor), from navigare (to sail), from navis (ship). Earliest documented use: 1829.

NOTES:
A navigator is someone who navigates. In the past, it was also a sailor or a mariner, from Latin navis (ship). Then the word came to be applied to someone who worked on the construction of a canal. Eventually, it became shortened to navvy and was used for any constructor worker, one who worked on roads, railroads, etc. The word is also used for mechanical excavators.

USAGE:
“It was a navvy all covered with mortar, white dust, and mud.”
Ali Smith; The Book Lover; Anchor Books; 2006.

See more usage examples of navvy in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Live your life as an experiment. -Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun and author (b. 14 Jul 1936)

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