Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Navvy.

 Navigation.Nay-word. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Navvy.
 
A contraction of navigator. One employed to make railways.   1
        “Canals were thought of as lines of inland navigation and a tavern built by the side of a canal was called a ‘Navigation Inn.’ Hence it happened that the men employed in exoavating canals were called ‘navigators,’ shortened into navvies.”—Spencer: Principles of Sociology, vol. i. appendix C, p. 834.
 


 Navigation.Nay-word. 

 
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