can't call (one's) soul (one's) own

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can't call (one's) soul (one's) own

Spends most of one's time working for others. Now that I've started working overtime four days a week, I really can't call my soul my own.
See also: call, own, soul

can't call one's soul one's own

Fig. working for other people all the time. Jane has to work two jobs and take care of both her aging parents. She can't call her soul her own. Between supporting his family and working off his brother's bad debts, Bob really can't call his soul his own.
See also: call, own, soul

can't call one's soul one's own

To be very much in debt or bondage to another; to have lost one’s independence. This turn of phrase dates from the sixteenth century and has been repeated ever since. In Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop (1841, Chapter 4), “She daren’t call her soul her own” is said of Mrs. Quilp, wife of the tyrannical dwarf, Daniel.
See also: call, own, soul
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