handwork versus handiwork

Monday, January 5, 2009

As far as we know, there is no difference between the words "handwork" and "handiwork."

Both mean, "work done by hand," though some dictionaries add that "handwork" is work done by hand as distinguished from other forms of work, such as machinery.

"Handiwork," on the other (yuk, yuk) hand, has two additional definitions:

2. the characteristic quality of a particular doer or maker: In all of Mozart's music we discover the handiwork of a genius.
3. the result of work done by hand: woven mats and other handiwork.