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Origin of bulldozer
Words nearby bulldozer
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does bulldozer mean?
A bulldozer is a large tractor that has a big, blade-like shovel at the front and moves around using metal tracks over wheels.
Less commonly, bulldozer can also mean a person who intentionally tries to intimidate others. In fact, this was its original use, first recorded in the 1870s.
The verb bulldoze comes from around the same time. Today, bulldoze typically means to use a bulldozer, such as to move dirt or clear an area, or, more figuratively, to move forward or advance in an aggressive or forceful way.
However, bulldoze originally meant to intimidate, such as with threats of violence. Early records of this use refer to violent attacks, especially whipping, against African Americans by white people in the Southern United States. However, the origin of these words, and how bulldozer came to be a name for a type of tractor, is ultimately unclear.
Where does bulldozer come from?
The first records of bulldozer in reference to the construction vehicle come from around 1930. But the term bulldozer has been used to refer to a person who engages in intimidation since at least the 1870s.
Due to an explanation in a U.S. newspaper from that time, the verb bulldoze is often thought to come from the phrase bull-dose, as in a “dose fit for a bull,” a reference to cases in which African Americans were severely whipped by white people, especially in the Southern U.S., particularly to prevent them from voting or to coerce them to vote for a certain party or person. Another theory suggests a connection with the word bullwhip. Such people were sometimes called bulldozers. However, it’s uncertain exactly how these terms originated.
Still, the term bulldozer became a general term for a person whose intention is intimidation, and that sense of the word may have contributed to the name of the construction vehicle that’s known for clearing an area by powerfully moving everything in its path. Today, most uses of bulldozer and bulldoze, even figurative ones, are in reference to this vehicle, which can also be called an earthmover.
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What are some other forms related to bulldozer?
- bulldoze (verb)
What are some synonyms for bulldozer?
What are some words that share a root or word element with bulldozer?
What are some words that often get used in discussing bulldozer?
Example sentences from the Web for bulldozer
Soldiers, settlers, and bulldozer drivers have also mercilessly targeted civilians.
Ameira still had to pay 25,000 shekels ($7,000) to hire a bulldozer and trucks to transport the rubble….
On the bucket of a bulldozer that had been previously used to uproot the trees in Gezi Park it says, “ I am Free!”Smiling Under a Cloud of Tear Gas: Elif Shafak on Istanbul’s Streets|Elif Shafak|June 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
May I recommend the one featuring a picture of the dome from The Dome of the Rock being demolished by a Caterpillar bulldozer?
Conflicting accounts have her either falling back and getting sucked under the bulldozer or being hit head one.
Dakug swildu ang makamaung muupirit ug buldúsir, One who knows how to operate a bulldozer is highly paid.A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan|John U. Wolff
One specimen was unearthed from the bank of a small muddy stream by a bulldozer.Amphibians and Reptiles of the Rainforests of Southern El Peten, Guatemala|William E. Duellman
Even the section their ship stood on was part of the crater, he saw, with an Earth bulldozer working on it.Victory|Lester del Rey
Prosaically, a bulldozer lowered its wide blade some fifty yards from the ship.Space Tug|Murray Leinster
The specimen was uncovered by a bulldozer at a depth of about one foot below the surface.Some Reptiles and Amphibians from Korea|Robert G Webb