Where does the word “Stevedore” come from and What does Stevedore mean in Spanish?

The Spanish, at one time the rulers of the seas, have left their contributions to seafaring terms, and one of these is stevedore.

It is derived from the Spanish noun of agency estivador, “one who stows cargo,” of which the corresponding verb form is estivar, “to stow cargo.”

From the same source is the English verb, now little used, to steeve, “to pack tightly.”

A further derivation takes us to the Latin stipare, “to press closely together.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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