Word of the Day – 26 Oct 2011 – Dogsbody


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.

Explore “dogsbody” in the Visual Thesaurus. 

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) 

Wordsmith.org

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