"instrument consisting of a broad scoop or curved blade with a handle," Middle English shovel, from Old English scofl, sceofol "shovel," from Proto-Germanic *skublo (source also of Old Saxon skufla, Swedish skovel, Middle Low German schufle, Middle Dutch shuffel, Dutch schoffel, Old High German scuvala, German Schaufel). The Old English noun is related to scufan "push away, thrust, push with violence" (see shove (v.)). Shovel-ready, with reference to construction projects, is attested by 2006.
"take up and move with a shovel," mid-15c., shovelen, from shovel (n.). Often especially "move or throw in large quantities hastily and inelegantly." Related: Shoveled; shoveling. Compare German schaufeln, verb from noun. Shoveler (also shovelard) as a kind of duck is from mid-15c.
updated on October 09, 2022