The Online Etymology Dictionary has this for pushover:

also push-over, 1900 of jobs or tasks; 1922 of persons (bad boxers and easy women), from push (v.) + over (adv.).

I'm not sure I understand this description. Does it mean the word was used in 1900 to describe jobs and tasks, and then in 1922 to describe people, as in she's a pushover, meaning she's easily led or influenced? And what does bad boxers and easy women mean? I guess it means the word was used to describe bad boxers who can easily fall over at their opponent's punch.

1 Answer 1


A bad boxer is one who can be easily defeated in the ring.

The word "easy" in the phrase "easy woman" is a colloquialism applied to a woman who "yields" to almost any man making sexual advances, a woman who is not very discriminating in respect to the men she has sexual encounters with.

You are correct in your understanding of the dictionary's notations.

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