navvy

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nav·vy

 (năv′ē)
n. pl. nav·vies Chiefly British
A laborer, especially one employed in construction or excavation projects.

[Short for navigator, canal laborer (obsolete).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

navvy

(ˈnævɪ)
n, pl -vies
informal Brit a labourer on a building site, excavations, etc
[C19: shortened from navigator, builder of a navigation (sense 4)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

nav•vy

(ˈnæv i)

n., pl. -vies.
Brit. Informal. an unskilled manual laborer.
[1825–35; earlier, a laborer employed in canal excavation; nav(igator) in same sense (compare obsolete or dial. navigation a canal) + -y2]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.navvy - a laborer who is obliged to do menial worknavvy - a laborer who is obliged to do menial work
laborer, labourer, manual laborer, jack - someone who works with their hands; someone engaged in manual labor
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

navvy

noun labourer, worker, ganger, workman, manual worker, hand He spent 18 months doing navvy's work on a building site.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
Translations

navvy

[ˈnævɪ] N (Brit) → peón m caminero
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

navvy

[ˈnævi] n (British)terrassier m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

navvy

n (Brit) → Bauarbeiter(in) m(f); (on road also) → Straßenarbeiter(in) m(f)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

navvy

[ˈnævɪ] n (Brit) → sterratore m, manovale m
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
I felt as a rabbit might feel returning to his burrow and suddenly confronted by the work of a dozen busy navvies digging the foundations of a house.
That which would present no difficulty to a thousand navvies working in open country will be of course more troublesome in a comparatively confined space.
She is consigned to a Father--Boots's Father, who employs five hundred thousand men--and is brought to anchor on Veneering's left; thus affording opportunity to the sportive Tippins on his right (he, as usual, being mere vacant space), to entreat to be told something about those loves of Navvies, and whether they really do live on raw beefsteaks, and drink porter out of their barrows.
When it was made, he took toll upon it; and his heirs still take toll, and the sons of the navvies who dug it and of the engineer who designed it pay the toll when they have occasion to travel by it, or to purchase goods which have been conveyed along it.
I dreamt of the railway line being made; The ballast, sleepers and then the rails, I saw navvies resting on their spades, While the foreman drove in the final nail.
First of all kick Northern Ireland into touch, it has cost us dearly in lives and money over hundreds of years, scrap HS2 - a destructive vanity project which will benefit no one other than modern day navvies and our inscrutable auditors - scrap our foreign aid budget and accept any help from anywhere in the world (my waters tell me we're going to need it) and retain the forty odd billion we're donating to our European blackmailers.
Cut through Pennine grit, it took around 2,500 navvies 17 years to build.
Next, they try their hand at making some of Skipton's world-famous pork pies and go fly-fishing, before going their separate ways - with George retracing part of the 2014 Tour de France route and Larry opting for a more sedate history lesson on the navvies who built the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct.
But I guess that's a tribute to those Victorian engineers and navvies who built it - and to the smooth, if soulless, ride today's Northern trains give us.
In the castle grounds at 7am and under the superintendence of Mr Stockdale, chief of the police force, an immense procession was formed and a local newspaper reported they left in the following order: | Twelve navvies on horses, navvies with wheelbarrows, spades and picks; | Then came Mr Crawshay's band Operative masons, Foresters' Club - Little John and his merry men, being represented by Foresters on horseback; | The Glamorganshire Militia Band, Ivorite Clubs, Oddfellows, the First Devon Militia Band, Shipwrights' Club, The Loyal Hibernian Club, Newport Factory Band, Police Force; and | Officers of the Municipal Corporation, David Lewis Esq, Mayor, and John Boyle Esq, trustee to the Marquis of Bute and the Cardiff Corporation.
The nearby 18th century church of St Francis has stained glass windows - unique in the country - showing navvies building the reservoir.