One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who uses his or her hands for some task; one who tends to engage in physical rather than mental exertion; especially a manual labourer, a person whose work demands manual skill or dexterity.
2A user or advocate of the use of sign language as a method of communicating with or teaching deaf people.
3A writer or compiler of manuals or handbooks.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Robert Dallington (b. 1561), author and courtier. From manual + -ist.
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