Definition of hewers of wood and drawers of water in US English:

hewers of wood and drawers of water

phrase

dated
  • Menial drudges; laborers.

    • ‘Davies's workers are strong in arm and weak in brain - perpetual hewers of wood and drawers of water who cannot aspire to any higher intellectual, cultural or political activities.’
    • ‘Instead of insisting on manufacturing the raw materials here, ‘we are being pushed back into the role of hewers of wood and drawers of water’.’
    • ‘The attitude of the apartheid regime towards ‘Bantu’ education was that these people were going to be drawers of water and hewers of wood and needed little mathematics.’’
    • ‘Through these outstanding results, our learners are sending a loud and clear message that they refuse to become permanent drawers of water and hewers of wood as the architects of apartheid education had designed.’
    • ‘As Brownlow put it, ‘We can never live in a Southern Confederacy, and be made hewers of wood and drawers of water for a set of aristocrats ‘- an appropriate role for slaves but not for free men.’’
    servant, domestic servant, domestic, drudge, maid of all work
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