Posted by ESC on May 01, 2004
In Reply to: Bulldozer posted by Bruce Kahl on April 30, 2004
: "A heavy, driver-operated machine for clearing and grading land, usually having continuous treads and a broad hydraulic blade in front. 2. An overbearing person; a bully"
: OK...but does anyone know the history of this word?
: Is/was this a brand name?
: German? Slavic? Norse?
Here's one theory:
BULLDOZE - verb. 1876. "American English, to intimidate by violence; of uncertain origin. The word 'bulldozer,' meaning one who intimidates by violence, appeared also in 1876, a machine for clearing or leveling in 1930. The etymology usually suggested is a compound of 'bull' (the animal) and an altered form of 'dose,' i.e., a whipping to coerce voters was a dose suitable for a bull. The reference is a supposed practice during the Tilden campaign, especially among Blacks in the South." From "The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology" by Robert K. Barnhart (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1995).
: Doze is to sleep/nap.