What does navvy mean?

navvy meaning in General Dictionary

a laborer who is obliged to-do menial work

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  • initially a laborer on canals for interior navigation ergo a laborer on other public works as with building railroads embankments etc
  • Originally, a laborer on canals for interior navigation; ergo, a laborer on other general public works, as in building railroads, embankments, etc.

navvy meaning in Etymology Dictionary

"laborer on a canal or railway," 1832, colloquial shortening of navigator (q.v.) in its sense of "one which digs navigation canals."


navvy meaning in General Dictionary

(n.) Originally, a laborer on canals for internal navigation; ergo, a laborer on other public works, like in building railroads, embankments, etc.


Sentence Examples with the word navvy

Equally right or wrong is he who says that Napoleon went to Moscow because he wanted to, and perished because Alexander desired his destruction, and he who says that an undermined hill weighing a million tons fell because the last navvy struck it for the last time with his mattock.

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