gandy dancer


gan·​dy dancer ˈgan-dē- How to pronounce gandy dancer (audio)
: a laborer in a railroad section gang
: an itinerant or seasonal laborer

Word History


of obscure origin

Note: Claims that gandy refers to a "Gandy Manufacturing Company" or "Gandy Tool Company," a supposed maker of section worker tools, have never been substantiated and are probably specious.

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gandy dancer was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near gandy dancer

Cite this Entry

“Gandy dancer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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