Etymology
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Luddite (n.)
also luddite, 1811, the name taken by an organized band of weavers in Midlands and northern England who for about 5 years thereafter destroyed machinery, for fear it would deprive them of work. Supposedly they got it from Ned Ludd, a Leicestershire worker who in 1779 had smashed two machines in a rage, but that story first was told in 1847. Applied by 1961 to modern spurners of automation and technology. As an adjective from 1812.
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bane (n.)

Old English bana "killer, slayer, murderer, a worker of death" (human, animal, or object), also "the devil," from Proto-Germanic *banon, cognate with *banja- "wound" (source also of Old Frisian bona "murderer," Old Norse bani "death; that which causes death," Old High German bana "death, destruction," Old English benn "wound," Gothic banja "stroke, wound"), a word of no certain IE etymology. Sense of "that which causes ruin or woe" is from 1570s. Related: Baneful.

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ascetic (adj.)

1640s, "practicing rigorous self-denial as a religious exercise," from Latinized form of Greek asketikos "rigorously self-disciplined, laborious," from asketēs "monk, hermit," earlier "skilled worker, one who practices an art or trade," especially "athlete, one in training for the arena," from askein "to exercise, train," especially "to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise," perhaps originally "to fashion material, embellish or refine material."

The Greek word was applied by the stoics to the controlling of the appetites and passions as the path to virtue and was picked up from them by the early Christians. The figurative sense of "unduly strict or austere" also is from 1640s. Related: Ascetical (1610s).

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peon (n.)

in Spanish America, "unskilled worker," formerly in Mexico especially "a type of serf held in servitude by his creditor until his debts are worked off,"  1826, from Mexican Spanish peon "agricultural laborer" (especially a debtor held in servitude by his creditor), from Spanish peon "day laborer," also "pedestrian," originally "foot soldier," from Medieval Latin pedonem "foot soldier" (see pawn (n.2)). The word entered British English earlier (c. 1600) in the sense "native constable, soldier, or messenger in India," via Portuguese peao "pedestrian, foot soldier, day laborer."

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cordwainer (n.)

"shoemaker, leatherworker," originally "a worker in Cordovan leather," mid-14c.; mid-12c. as a surname, from Anglo-French cordewaner, from Old French cordoan "(leather) of Cordova," the Spanish city whose leather was famous for quality. Compare cordovan, a later borrowing directly from Spanish.

It is sometimes goatskin tanned and dressed, but more frequently split horsehide; it differs from morocco in being prepared from heavy skins and in retaining its natural grain. During the middle ages the finest leather came from Spain; the shoes of ladies and gentlemen of rank are often said to be of cordwain. [Century Dictionary]

Related: Cordwainery.

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sack (n.2)

"a dismissal from work," 1825, apparently from sack (n.1), perhaps from the notion of the worker going off with his tools in a bag. The original formula seems to have been give (someone) the sack. In early use sometimes also of a rejected suitor. It is attested earlier in French (on luy a donné son sac, 17c.) and Dutch (iemand de zak geven). English was using bag (v.) in the same sense colloquially by 1848, and compare 20c. slang verbal phrase bag work "skip one's job" which puts the bag to different use. The verb sack "dismiss from office, employment, etc., 'give the sack,' " is attested by 1841 (in sacked).

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robot (n.)
Origin and meaning of robot

1923, "mechanical person," also "person whose work or activities are entirely mechanical," from the English translation of the 1920 play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots") by Karel Capek (1890-1938), from Czech robotnik "forced worker," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery," from robotiti "to work, drudge," from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude," from rabu "slave" (from Old Slavic *orbu-, from PIE *orbh- "pass from one status to another;" see orphan).

The Slavic word thus is a cousin to German Arbeit "work" (Old High German arabeit). The play was enthusiastically received in New York from its Theatre Guild performance debut on Oct. 9, 1922. According to Rawson the word was popularized by Karel Capek's play, "but was coined by his brother Josef (the two often collaborated), who used it initially in a short story." Hence, "a human-like machine designed to carry out tasks like a human agent."

"Young Rossum invented a worker with the minimum amount of requirements. He had to simplify him. He rejected everything that did not contribute directly to the progress of work—everything that makes man more expensive. In fact, he rejected man and made the Robot. My dear Miss Glory, the Robots are not people. Mechanically they are more perfect than we are, they have an enormously developed intelligence, but they have no soul."  ["R.U.R."]
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mechanic (n.)

1560s, "one who is employed in manual labor, one who works mechanically, a handicraft worker, an artisan," from Latin mechanicus "of or belonging to machines or mechanics," from Greek mekhanikos "an engineer," noun use of adjective meaning "full of resources, inventive, ingenious," from mēkhanē "device, tool, machine; contrivance, cunning" (see machine (n.)).

Their social and professional organizations were prominent late 18c. and early 19c. in Britain and America, and account for the Mechanics Halls in many towns and the Mechanicsvilles and Mechanicsburgs on the map. The sense of "skilled workman who is concerned with the making or repair of machinery" is attested from 1660s, but was not the main sense of the word until the rise of the automobile in late 19c.

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bloomers (n.)

1851, named for U.S. feminist reformer Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894), who promoted them. The surname is attested from c. 1200, said to mean "iron-worker," from Old English bloma (see bloom (n.2)). The original Bloomer costume was a short skirt, loose trousers buttoned round the ankle, and a broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat.

The failure of the Bloomer dress seems to have arisen from the mixed character it assumed, and the unpleasant confusion of ideas it occasioned. It partook of the man's the woman's and the child's. A bold assumption of a full male dress, as by Madame Dudevant and Miss Weber, and such as is worn at pleasure by ladies, traveling or on excursions, anywhere on the continent of Europe, would have had a much better chance of tolerance and success. ["The Illustrated Manners Book, A Manual of Good Behavior and Polite Accomplishment," New York, 1855]
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wench (n.)

late 13c., wenche "girl, young woman," especially if unmarried, also "female infant," shortened from wenchel "child," also in Middle English "girl, maiden," from Old English wencel, probably related to wancol "unsteady, fickle, weak," from Proto-Germanic *wankila- (source also of Old Norse vakr "child, weak person," Old High German wanchal "fickle"), from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)).

The wenche is nat dead, but slepith. [Wyclif, Matthew ix.24, c. 1380]

In Middle English occasionally with disparaging suggestion, and secondary sense of "concubine, strumpet" is attested by mid-14c. Also "serving-maid, bondwoman, young woman of a humble class" (late 14c.), a sense retained in the 19c. U.S. South in reference to slave women of any age. In Shakespeare's day a female flax-worker could be a flax-wench, flax-wife, or flax-woman.

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