Archives for posts with tag: work

A man may work from sun to sun, but women’s work is never done.

This saying is a longer version of a woman’s work is never done.

It is a comment on the repetitive nature of what the English call housework and Americans call homework.  (To speakers of British English, homework is schoolwork done at home or research into an issue perhaps connected with finance or business.)

A clothes-prop is used to raise the middle of a washing line after the clothes and bed-linen have been pegged onto it.

Propping up is an expression about supporting someone or something to prevent collapse.  In underground mines there are pit-props.

A washing line may be known as a drying line.  The washing is hung out to dry.

A laundry basket is used to carry the wet washing out and the dry washing in.

A linen basket is used to keep everything tidy before it is washed.  It might also be referred to as a clothes basket.  Although a basket was traditionally woven from willow or similar flexible material, these items may be made of other materials such as plywood or plastic.  In the house where I grew up, there was a linen basket in my parents’ bedroom and a tall wooden box with a lid covered in cork in the bathroom, which we called a linen bin.  It doubled as a seat.

At someone’s beck and call means that, if they beckon or shout, attendance is compulsory.  It was the situation servants were in.  A similar situation may arise in families where one person expects another to do a lot for them.

A busman’s holiday is a phrase used when someone spends their leisure time doing the same things they are aid to do.

Worn to a frazzle is an idiom meaning exhausted.

The weakest go to the wall.  This is an old saying.  It was literally true in synagogues, where there were no seats.  Those who were unable to stand for long leant on the walls.

If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen!
It can become too hot in a kitchen.  The expression is used about stressful situations in life.

With mass media such as radio and TV local dialects are not as widely used as they were previously.  My Mum recently told me how she was corrected at school for writing about getting the fire a-gate, meaning alight or going.  It was a Lancashire expression, presumably.

He/she has been through the wringer.

A wringer or mangle was used to squeeze the water out of wet clothes.  someone who has suffered may be described as having been through the wringer.  Mangled is an adjective describing something which has been squashed and twisted.

A prayer of Moses the man of God involved workPsalm 90:17

Well begun is half done.

If procrastination is a problem, just beginning something is an effort, but once a job is started it is well on the way to being finished.

Done and dusted
means completed.  If you are of the opinion that other parts of cleaning such as cleaning or vacuuming raise dust, dusting is the final job.

A hand over can involve explaining to the next shift what has been happening.

Business as usual
means that life is carrying on and people are not on holiday.

Businesses open as usual
is a sign which can be seen when there are road-works and vehicular access looks difficult.

To miss your vocation
would be a shame.  Vocation means calling.  Usually a vocation is seen as a job requiring particular skills and attitudes.  Nursing and teaching, for example are often described as vocations.  Finding something which is enjoyable (or at least satisfying) and uses one’s talents to the full is a good objective.

That will spur you on.
A spur may be worn on a riding boot and used to make the horse go faster.  A deadline (or the opportunity to do something exciting when you already have work that must be completed) could result in this being said.

A thankless task
is a job no-one wants to do, but which is probably taken for granted.

A thank you job
is an unpaid job.  “Thank you” is the most you can expect.

On the job
can describe training.  You learn as you go along or are sent for training by your employer.

Pull together
means work as a team, not necessarily at tug of war.

I’m behind you.
If this is literally true, you can’t see me without turning round.  It is a pledge of support, which might not be obvious without being stated.

I’ll back you up…
…if you’ll be the spokesperson.

A back-up plan may be needed in case plan A doesn’t work.

If all else fails…
…plan C might be needed!

Not my field.
A field here is an area of expertise.

Don’t let the grass grow under your feet.
This means get on with whatever needs to be done.  Standing around doesn’t mow the lawn.

You’re a glutton for punishment.
This may be said to someone who takes on a lot of work.  (All those bloggers taking part in Postaday or Blogging from A-Z in April.)

To get your teeth into something
means to work hard and persevere wih a project.

To mean business
is to be determined and serious about a job.

A good job, too.
This is an idiom, which means it is fortunate something has happened.  A good job may also mean work well done or lucrative employment.

If you have the latter you probably won’t need to sell the family silver.  This expression means sell something which is precious such as an heirloom in order to survive.

His future was mapped out.
He was expected to enter the family business, perhaps.

Make short work of something
means to do a job or eat a meal quickly.

I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t work miracles.

This is a reaction from someone taking on a difficult task.  I still hope that miracles can be worked through believers.  John 14:1-14