break one's back

(redirected from breakneck pace)

break one's back

Also, break one's neck. Make a great effort, work very hard. For example, I've been breaking my back over this problem for the past week, or Don't break your neck to get there; we'll wait for you. Both versions of this expression, polite equivalents of break one's ass, transfer the literal fracture of one's back or neck to figurative exertion. However, break one's neck has the secondary connotation of proceeding with reckless speed, a sense also conveyed by the term breakneck pace. Originally this idiom alluded to literally breaking one's neck by rushing heedlessly along, but it has been used figuratively for the past 300 years. Also see break the back of.
See also: back, break
References in classic literature ?
He didn't hear me call, nor see me flap my parasol in front, and there we were, quite helpless, rattling away, and whirling around corners at a breakneck pace.
A rolling cloud of yellow dust had streamed round the curve of the road, and from the heart of it had emerged a high tandem tricycle flying along at a breakneck pace.
All of this means that the Fed is inflating at a breakneck pace, devising entirely new ways of creating hundreds of billions of new dollars into the bargain.
In China, where cities are growing at a breakneck pace, religious movements are fast gaining adherents, the report adds.
And he completed construction of hundreds of campuses at a breakneck pace.
The madness continues at breakneck pace, to a rodeo where Borat manages to get one of the organisers to give an on-camera interview discussing his dislike of Muslims and gays, to the drunk fraternity brothers who inform their guest: "You are better than a woman.
The wonderful Brick keeps the action going at a dramatic, breakneck pace that would tongue-tie other readers, while giving key characters distinctive, unique voices.
New single 18 stood out and the song 9 with its breakneck pace had the crowd jumping up and down.
At the Belmont Stakes--the Triple Crown's longest race--the winning racehorse has to maintain this breakneck pace for 2.
But as the calendar rolls around to year two, the breakneck pace slows, and some perspective can be attained.
There have been a lot of bumps in the road to adoption of the Bluetooth short-range wireless protocol for automotive applications, but the number of Bluetooth-enabled devices for continues to grow, albeit at a less than breakneck pace.
Even as we anticipate the peaking of petroleum production, oil use continues to rise, especially in countries like China and India that are industrializing at a breakneck pace.
The findings for trade mag The Grocer are blamed on modern life's breakneck pace and longer commuting times.
Evolution, or revolution, has continued at a breakneck pace with new advances, such as the Internet, AS2 (electronic data exchange over the Internet), extensible markup language and tablet person computers.
So the price of admission to elective office keeps rising at a breakneck pace.