All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

This proverb is about a balanced life.  Jack is a form of John and used to be a very popular name in England.  Perhaps I’ll write a whole post about Jack sometime!

Work hard; play hard…
…a pithy way of saying the same thing.

A poor workman blames his tools.
Poor here means inexpert and the word bad is an alternative in this saying. With practice it is possible to improve skills and it is easier with the right tools, but the workman is responsible for the quality of his work.  See Good, better, best.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible
is a useful disclaimer.  When did you last see it on your computer screen?

In service
was a way of life for many before the First World War.  Now it has become the subject of television series such as Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey.

Pressed into service
is an expression which goes back to press-gangs, who abducted people to provide crews for ships.  It is often applied to an item, which might not have been the first choice for a particular purpose.

Stock-in-trade is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as all the requisites of a trade.  It is often used to describe someone’s much repeated opinion.

Tools of the trade
are needed by workmen.  Trades include plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying, glazing and other non-professional occupations.  Shopkeepers are in trade.

A trick of the trade
is a specialised skill.

A Trojan
(apart from being a native of Troy) is someone who works hard.

A general factotum
is a tautological expression.  Factotum means someone who does all kinds of work.

Down tools- we’re going on strike.
People sometimes withdraw their labour in order to force their employer to give in to their demands.  In my opinion negotiation should be used and there should be no need for strikes.  Innocent people are affected by strikes – would-be customers and the families of the least well-off strikers.

St Paul had harsh words for people who would not work in his Second letter to the Thessalonians Chapter 3 verses 6-15