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plough on

To move, progress, or develop at a slow but constant and deliberate pace, especially that which is menial, time consuming, or tedious. Primarily heard in UK. John: "Hey Steve, what's new?" Steve: "Nothing much, just been ploughing on with research for my thesis." A: "I've still got a ways to go before I'll be finished clearing out debris from the property." B: "Well, just keep ploughing on until you're done!"
See also: on, plough

plow the sands

To do something that seems futile. I know that I'm just plowing the sands by telling you to stay away from that boy, but I'm your father, and I don't want to see you get hurt. That couch will never fit up the steps—tell them to stop plowing the sands!
See also: plow, sand
References in periodicals archive ?
He said while government extended the ploughing season to February 26, farmers could not utilise the period due to heavy rainfall that took place most of the days in February.
The Warwick Vintage Tractor and Machinery Society will be holding its annual ploughing match at Sherbourne, just outside Warwick, from 10am to 3pm today.
As I lean against a wall waiting for my brother to turn up, I ask myself if I'm doing the right thing by spending my precious Saturday at a ploughing match.
The service focused on agriculture and ploughing and featured a display including hand pulled ploughs, seed and fiddle drills and riddles.
Emrys Owen is heading to ploughing world championships next month
That day he borrowed a Ransomes plough, and it was fitting that he was reunited with it for his last ploughing event 64 years later at Earsdon, near Tritlington, before his retirement from the sport.
He's leaving behind for the day the Gelderlander carriage horses he usually works with at Beamish Museum in County Durham in favour of heavy horses Prince and Lion and a 1910 plough when he competes in the annual Beamish Ploughing Match in the museum grounds.
John, 79, of Newby Wiske, near Northallerton, started ploughing at the tender age of 14, just after the changeover had taken place from horses to tractors.
Before war broke out and food production took top priority I had some success, and lots of fun, in horse ploughing events," he said.
And the Ferguson Club will be staging the European T20 Ploughing Championship consisting of tractors and ploughs produced prior to 1956.
Emrys Owen, from Llangernyw, qualified for the trip as the top placed Welshman in the reversible category at last year's All Wales Ploughing and Hedging Championships.
It is also great to host a vintage ploughing match for the Llangolman Ploughing Society on the farm again.
The Rev Charlotte Lorimer led the service, which was centred on farming - particularly ploughing and sowing the seed and looking forward, not back.
On-lookers at the annual Flintshire Farmers ploughing match were left stunned when Mr Hooson's 52hp John Brown 990 tractor hauled a second two-furrow plough-mounted tractor at the same time.
When champion ploughman George Hall won his first ever ploughing match at the age of 14, he was very impressed with the Ransomes trailed plough that he had borrowed for the competition.