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work nights

To work in the evenings, as opposed to during the day. I used to work nights, but it took such a toll on my sleeping that I switched back to the day shift.
See also: nights, work

work (one's) butt off

To work really hard (on or at something). I know you thought it was just a silly New Year's resolution, but I've been working my butt off at the gym! Sally and Jim work their butts off when we hold our user conference—I don't know what I'd do without them!
See also: butt, off, work

work (one's) magic

To use one's unique talents or charm to obtain a desired thing or outcome. I never thought the boss would approve our business trip, but Sam worked her magic, and now, we're off to Denver! Whenever I can't get my car running, I have my dad come over and work his magic on the engine.
See also: magic, work

work the crowd

To excite or entertain an audience. Man, that singer sure knows how to work a crowd! They're going wild for him! The keynote speaker was late, so I had to work the crowd for a while to stall.
See also: crowd, work

work the room

To interact with many people at an event or function. Often, but not always, applied to business situations. At networking events, Ben totally works the room, with the goal of meeting as many people as he possibly can. At parties, my dad always works the room and chats with everyone, but I'm too shy for that.
See also: room, work

work (one's) way through

To stay engaged in a task continuously. Often used when the task is long-term or plodding. Kate is working her way through college, but it's taken a while, as she's only been able to attend classes part-time. I have to work my way through any book I start, even if I don't like it very much.
See also: through, way, work

working girl

A prostitute. The vice squad always patrols this area, looking to arrest any working girls on the street.
See also: girl, working

in working order

Of a machine, functional; not broken. I just picked up my car from the shop, and it's in working order again, thank goodness!
See also: order, working

work the oracle

To manipulate something for one's personal gain (often financially). Primarily heard in UK. In order to win that much money gambling, he must have worked the oracle.
See also: work

work up to the collar

To work hard; to exert oneself. This now-outdated phrase refers to the collar on a beast of burden. I ended up doing most of the project myself because I didn't trust my partner to work up to the collar—he's lazy.
See also: collar, up, work

a working over

A harsh reprimand, often one that lasts a lengthy amount of time. She gave her teenage daughter a good working over for breaking curfew. I got a good working over from the professor after I submitted my project late.
See also: working

*a (good) working over

a good scolding. (*Typically: get ~ have ~ give someone ∼.) The boss gave me a good working over before firing me. She got a working over about her performance on the project.
See also: working

hard at (something)

 and hard at doing something
working hard at something. Tom's busy. He's hard at work on the lawn.
See also: hard

working stiff

Fig. someone who works, especially in a nonmanagement position. (Originally and typically referring to males.) But does the working stiff really care about all this economic stuff? All the working stiffs want is a raise.
See also: stiff, working

give someone a (good) working over

tv. to scold or beat someone. The boss gave me a good working over before firing me.
See also: give, good, working

give someone a working over

See also: give, working

plumber’s smile

and working man’s smile
n. the upper part of the gluteal cleft (crack sense 1) visible above the beltline of a man, bent over at work. I came into the kitchen and was greeted by a plumber’s smile owned by some guy working under the sink. She referred to the overexposure of his rear end over his belt as the “working man’s smile.”
See also: smile

working man’s smile

See also: smile, working

working stiff

n. a working man; a man who must work to live. (see also stiff.) But does the working stiff really care about all this economic stuff?
See also: stiff, working

working stiff

A hardworking employee. First heard in the 1930s, this phrase describes your average guy or gal who works at a not-very-interesting- or-stimulating job and for wages that mean a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. “Stiff ” might have come from muscle fatigues at the end of the day or week, but it's just as likely to be the slang word for “corpse,” which would reflect the idea of a working stiff in a dead-end job.
See also: stiff, working
References in periodicals archive ?
The working poor are more likely to escape poverty in the longer run than the "welfare" poor.
Various questions need to be asked: How will unforeseen events impact working capital requirements?
She said she did not want to continue working as a checkout clerk after she became eligible for retirement.
Part of what makes a big difference between middle class and working class women in Baltimore, Johnson notices, is purely cultural.
While the news media replayed the crash footage and the burning buildings, working people were able to turn to the Internet for information and action.
Recent scholarship has emphasized the place of gender in the formation of British working class identity during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
After working with Manpower for a certain amount of rime, Mohammed could also be eligible for health benefits, vacation, and other perks.
I don't see anyone changing their minds about working those hours, either,'' said Ed Coburn, spokesman for Circadian Technologies Inc.
A Hoyt Lecturer in 1977, he spent 42 years working for Amsted Industries, Inc.
In mainstream liberal opinion, support for full-time mothering is usually equated with naive nostalgia, while working mothers are often portrayed as victims of sexism, culturally imposed guilt, and benighted public policies.
The process of assessment involves working alongside the client for the entire testing time, completing the same functional activities together.
2 million Americans were working out of their homes in 1995.
We've learned that it doesn't make any sense to have someone who is working 16 hours a week come in 8 hours each on Monday and Tuesday, because he or she will leave at 4:30 on Tuesday and receive a phone call at 4:45 -- and the person won't be back for five days," reports Gary Shamis, managing partner of Ohio-based Saltz Shamis & Goldfarb.
He expressed his concern about an economy where corporate chief executives' salaries are skyrocketing while most working people's are stagnating.
In reality, it is made up of five individuals working without any common direction or vision for the practice.