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This is the council of the skeleton janitors.


  • The bare minimum amount of employees necessary to keep an office, business, service, etc., running at a basic level.
  • We can’t have a restaurant that is completely closed during the slow season, so we keep a skeleton crew on board to serve the few customers who decide to come in.
  • The rigs will have a skeleton crew keeping them running until the company finishes handing over its business to the new owners.

See also: crew, skeleton

JAN·I·TOR (jăn′ĭ-tər)

  1. One who attends to the maintenance or cleaning of a building.
  2. A doorman or doorwoman.
    {Latin iānitor, doorkeeper, from iānua, door, from iānus, archway; see ei- in Indo-European roots.}
    jan′i·to′ri·al (-tôr′ē-əl) adj.

Word History: In Latin iānus was the word for “archway, gateway, or covered passage” and also for the god of gates, doorways, and beginnings in general, known in English as Janus. Our month January—a month of beginnings—is named for the god. Latin iānitor, the source of our word janitor and ultimately also from iānus, meant “doorkeeper or gatekeeper.” Probably because iānitor was common in Latin records and documents, it was adopted into English. In an early quotation Saint Peter is called “the Janitor of heaven.” The term can still mean “doorkeeper,” but in Scots usage janitor also referred to a minor school official. Apparently this position at times involved maintenance duties and doorkeeping, and the maintenance duties took over the more exalted tasks, giving us the position of janitor as we know it today.

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