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Oct 26, 2011
This week's theme
Whose what?

This week's words
fool's errand
gentlemen's agreement
dogsbody
beginner's luck
driver's seat

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

dogsbody

PRONUNCIATION:
(DOGZ-bod-ee)

MEANING:
noun: A menial worker; drudge.

ETYMOLOGY:
In the British navy, dogsbody was the term sailors used for the unpalatable food given to them, boiled peas (officially known as pease pudding) and biscuits soaked in water. With time the term began to be applied to low-ranked sailors and eventually to anyone who is forced to do menial jobs that no one else wants to do. Why a dog? Probably from the general poor reputation of a dog, as evident in terms such as a dog's life and a dog's chance. Earliest documented use: 1818.

USAGE:
"The US has been accused of treating Britain not as a partner but as a dogsbody."
Nick Amies; Obama Visits Britain; Deutsche Welle (Bonn, Germany); May 24, 2011.

See more usage examples of dogsbody in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. -Thomas Jefferson, third US president, architect and author (1743-1826)

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