blue-collar worker

(noun) An individual who engages in manual labor, such as a construction worker or factory worker and is typically an hourly wage earner.

Audio Pronunciation: (blue-col·lar work·er)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: blue-collar workers
  • Blue-collar is reference to the durable blue denim shirts historically worn by manual labors.
  • The earliest listing for “blue-collar” in the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1929.
  • Blue-collar is often used in a derogatory sense to indicate lower socioeconomic status to others and conversely indicate pride in ones own status.
  • Blue-collar worker is sociologically problematic because highly skilled manual laborers (e.g. welders, repairmen) make more money, have more autonomy, and require more training than entry level white-collar office workers.
  • Variant form: blue collar worker

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