work (one's) fingers to the bone

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work (one's) fingers to the bone

To work excessively hard. Likened to literally wearing the skin off of one's hands from too much manual labor. I have worked my fingers to the bone renovating this house, and I'm glad to say that it has all been worth it. You have everyone working their fingers to the bone. You need to give them a break or they'll burn out.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

work one's fingers to the bone

Cliché to work very hard. I worked my fingers to the bone so you children could have everything you needed. Now look at the way you treat me! I spent the day working my fingers to the bone, and now I want to relax.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

work one's fingers to the bone

Also, work one's tail or butt off . Exert oneself, labor very hard, as in She's working her fingers to the bone to support her children, or I work my tail off and then the government takes half my income in taxes. The first hyperbole, with its image of working the skin and flesh off one's fingers, dates from the mid-1800s; the less polite variants date from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

work your fingers to the bone

If you work your fingers to the bone, you work extremely hard. What sort of life is this if, like a miner, you work your fingers to the bone? I have washed, cooked, fetched and carried all my life. I worked my fingers to the bone in his house.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

work your fingers to the bone

work very hard.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

work your ˌfingers to the ˈbone

(informal) work very hard: It’s not fair — I work my fingers to the bone all day and then I have to cook and clean in the evenings.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

work (one's) fingers to the bone

To labor extremely hard; toil or travail.
See also: bone, finger, to, work
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

work one's fingers to the bone, to

To work extremely hard. This hyperbole, with its image of working the skin and flesh off one’s fingers, dates from the nineteenth century. The eighteenth century had to work like a horse; Jonathan Swift used this version in his Journal to Stella (1710): “Lord Wharton . . . is working like a horse for elections.” Some nineteenth-century exaggerators stated to work like a galley-slave. In America that translated into work like a nigger, which of course is offensive in the extreme (and probably was then, too).
See also: finger, to, work
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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