DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!
Definition for dozer (2 of 2)
Origin of dozer2
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does dozer mean?
Dozer is commonly used as a short form of the word bulldozer, a large tractor that has a big, blade-like shovel at the front and moves around using metal tracks over wheels. They’re typically used to move earth and clear debris from an area.
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.
Unrelatedly, dozer is also an informal word for someone who dozes—falls asleep or sleeps for a short time, especially without trying to. This use of the word dozer precedes its use in bulldozer.
Where does dozer come from?
The first records of bulldozer in reference to the construction vehicle come from around 1930, and the first records of the word dozer as a short form of this sense of the word come from around the 1940s. 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 dozer, bulldozer, and bulldoze, even figurative ones, are in reference to this vehicle, which can also be called an earthmover.
The first records of the word dozer to refer to someone who dozes—falls asleep for short periods—come from the early 1700s. This verb doze probably comes from the Old Norse dūsa, which means “lull” and is related to Danish döse, “to drowse.” Dozer is typically used to refer to someone who habitually takes little naps. You know all of those times your dad said he was just going to “close his eyes” for five minutes? He’s a dozer.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to dozer?
- doze (verb)
What are some synonyms for dozer?
What are some words that share a root or word element with dozer?
What are some words that often get used in discussing dozer?
Example sentences from the Web for dozer
Instantly the rockets cut off, drums of fuel and air and food came out of the cargo-hatch and Pop swept forward with the dozer.Scrimshaw|William Fitzgerald Jenkins
The old waiter is a picture every frequenter will recognise, and the smoking a dozer no unusual bit of a spree.The English Spy|Bernard Blackmantle
No boisterous arguments from snuff-taking sexagenarians: all is placid —Eden-like—just as a dozer's sanctorum ought to be!
Uvar Ivanovitch was reposing in the attic on a wide and comfortable divan, known as a 'samo-son' or 'dozer.'On the Eve|Ivan Turgenev
Danny was standing up at the controls of the 'dozer, waving his arms.Where There's Hope|Jerome Bixby