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Navvy

NAVVY, a labourer employed in the digging and excavating of earth, etc., in the construction of railways, docks, canals or other engineering operations. The word is a shortened form of " navigator," applied, during the 18th and early part of the 1gth centuries to a labourer at work on canals, to which the name " navigation " is often applied. Power-machines (excavators) for performing such work are consequently known as " steamnavvies."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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