In a word: Stakhanovite

October 24, 2011

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


When you have met, or even better, exceeded, your weekly production quota, you can congratulate yourself on your Stakhanovite labors. The word (pronounced sta-KAN-oh-vyte) comes from the Soviet Union of the 1930s, where Aleksei Grigorevich Stakhanov, a coal miner, was held up as an example of the efficient, heroically laboring worker. It's now an eponym for especially hardworking and productive workers.

Example: Not everyone will admire you. From Time magazine, March 9, 1946: "By last week Stalin's pampering of Stakhanovites, who are not necessarily Communists, had roused the Young Communists to scoffing gibes at 'stuck-up Stakhanovites' and disclosures of the pampering they enjoy."

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