Aug 5, 2010

Rapid Rhetoric: PAVIOUR

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Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word or phrase I came across that I have never previously used.

paviour (PAVE-yer) n. a laborer who lays paving materials; a machine for laying paving materials; the material used in a paving project.

Also spelled pavior, the term paviour is of Middle English derivation, with origins in the word paven ("to pave"), and both words also trace back to the French word paver. I came across the term in an 1866 collection of Hans Christian Andersen tales; the source of the quote is from a tale called "Two Maidens":
Now, there are among us human creatures certain individuals who are known as "emancipated women;" as, for instance, principals of institutions, dancers who stand professionally on one leg, milliners, and sick nurses; and with this class of emancipated women the two maidens in the shed associated themselves. They were " maidens" among the paviour folk, and determined not to give up this honourable appellation, and let themselves be miscalled rammers.
In this translation the term paviour seems to be equivalent to "common" or "lowly"; at the very least street pavers appear to have garnered little respect in this nineteenth century translation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to know a couple rammers. Wonder what they're doing now????

--Macadam P. Cobblestone