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Related to slave: slave trade, Slave Dynasty

be a slave to (something)

To be unduly influenced by or care too much about something; to spend too much or time or energy on something. Jeremy is a total slave to fashion. He can't leave the house without making sure every part of his outfit matches perfectly. I wish Sarah would relax a bit more over the weekend. She's a total slave to her job.
See also: slave

what did your last slave die of

An expression of irritation, exasperation, or discontent to someone who is being imperious or makes excessive or unreasonable demands on one. Bill: "Darren, I need you to pick up my dry cleaning before lunch, then arrange for a taxi to pick me up at five o'clock." Darren: "Sheesh, what did your last slave die of?" Bill: "Excuse me? One more outburst like that and you're fired!" Dad: "Sally, take out the garbage like your mother asks." Sally: "All right already! Gosh, what did your last slave die of?"
See also: did, die, last, of, slave, what

better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave

It is better for a woman to marry an old man who treats her well than a controlling young man. If anyone says that Lord Alistair is too old for you, just remember: better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave.
See also: better, darling, old, slave, young

Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave.

Prov. A young woman should prefer to marry an old man who dotes on her rather than a young man who may treat her badly. When Mr. Nash proposed to me, I thought he was too old, but my mother advised me, "Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave." When Marion's friends objected that her fiance was much too old for her, she said, "Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave."
See also: better, darling, old, slave, young

slave away (at something)

Fig. to work very hard (doing something). I'm tired of slaving away at this and getting nowhere. I'm slaving away for $7.00 an hour and have no prospects for the future.
See also: away, slave

slave over something

Fig. to stand over something, working at it very hard, typically cooking over a hot stove. I've been slaving over this hot stove for hours to cook this meal! Ted slaved over his special dessert for hours.
See also: over, slave

*slave to something

Fig. someone who is under the control of something; someone whose time or attention is controlled or "owned by" by something. (Fig. on being a slave to a person. *Typically: be ~; become ~.) Mary is a slave to her job. Bill is a slave to his drug addiction.
See also: slave

work like a beaver

 and work like a mule; work like a horse; work like a slave
Fig. to work very hard. She has an important deadline coming up, so she's been working like a beaver. You need a vacation. You work like a slave in that kitchen. I'm too old to work like a horse. I'd prefer to relax more.
See also: beaver, like, work

work like a beaver

Also, work like a dog or horse or Trojan . Work very energetically and hard, as in She worked like a beaver to clean out all the closets, or I've been working like a dog weeding the garden, or He's very strong and works like a horse. The first of these similes is the oldest, first recorded in 1741; the variants date from the second half of the 1800s. Also see work one's fingers to the bone.
See also: beaver, like, work

work like a beaver

work steadily and industriously. informal
The beaver is referred to here because of the industriousness with which it constructs the dams necessary for its aquatic dwellings. The image is similarly conjured up by the phrase beaver away meaning ‘work hard’.
See also: beaver, like, work

slave over a hot stove

work very hard preparing a meal. informal
See also: hot, over, slave

be a slave to/of something

be a person whose life is completely controlled by something, for example a habit, a job, an interest, etc: She’s a slave to fashion; she’s always buying new clothes.
See also: of, slave, something

ˌwork like a ˈdog/ˈslave/ˈTrojan

(informal) work very hard: She worked like a slave to pass her exams. OPPOSITE: not do a stroke (of work)
See also: dog, like, slave, Trojan, work

slave away

To work very hard or persistently: I've been slaving away in the garden. The accountant slaved away on the tax returns.
See also: away, slave

slave away (at something)

in. to work very hard (doing something). I’m slaving away for $7 an hour and have no prospects for the future.
See also: away, slave, something

slave away

See also: away, slave

slave market

n. a job market where many candidates for jobs come face to face with potential employers. I gotta go to the annual slave market this year. We’re hiring for a change.
See also: market, slave
References in classic literature ?
The chain of galley slaves had by this time come up, and Don Quixote in very courteous language asked those who were in custody of it to be good enough to tell him the reason or reasons for which they were conducting these people in this manner.
But as I know that it is a mark of prudence not to do by foul means what may be done by fair, I will ask these gentlemen, the guards and commissary, to be so good as to release you and let you go in peace, as there will be no lack of others to serve the king under more favourable circumstances; for it seems to me a hard case to make slaves of those whom God and nature have made free.
Such was the confusion, that the guards, now rushing at the galley slaves who were breaking loose, now to attack Don Quixote who was waiting for them, did nothing at all that was of any use.
I found that this man had made a contract with his master, two or three years previous to the Emancipation Proclamation, to the effect that the slave was to be permitted to buy himself, by paying so much per year for his body; and while he was paying for himself, he was to be permitted to labour where and for whom he pleased.
Hence labour was something that both races on the slave plantation sought to escape.
As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual.
Was it any wonder that within a few hours the wild rejoicing ceased and a feeling of deep gloom seemed to pervade the slave quarters?
Slaves were passing among the guests, distributing small musical instruments of a single string.
sanguinea, which, as we have seen, is less aided by its slaves than the same species in Switzerland, I can see no difficulty in natural selection increasing and modifying the instinct--always supposing each modification to be of use to the species--until an ant was formed as abjectly dependent on its slaves as is the Formica rufescens.
These cases did not ALL occur, it will be seen, in territory actually belonging to legalised Slave States, though most, and those the very worst among them did, as their counterparts constantly do; but the position of the scenes of action in reference to places immediately at hand, where slavery is the law; and the strong resemblance between that class of outrages and the rest; lead to the just presumption that the character of the parties concerned was formed in slave districts, and brutalised by slave customs.
Now, I appeal to every human mind, imbued with the commonest of common sense, and the commonest of common humanity; to all dispassionate, reasoning creatures, of any shade of opinion; and ask, with these revolting evidences of the state of society which exists in and about the slave districts of America before them, can they have a doubt of the real condition of the slave, or can they for a moment make a compromise between the institution or any of its flagrant, fearful features, and their own just consciences?
Rather, for me, restore the forest and the Indian village; in lieu of stars and stripes, let some poor feather flutter in the breeze; replace the streets and squares by wigwams; and though the death-song of a hundred haughty warriors fill the air, it will be music to the shriek of one unhappy slave.
The occasion was to serve as an object-lesson to all other slaves of the danger and futility of attempted escape, and the fatal consequences of taking the life of a superior being, and so I imagine that Sagoths felt amply justified in making the entire proceeding as uncomfortable and painful to us as possible.
At first I couldn't make out the purpose of this mighty pile of rock, unless it were intended as a rough and picturesque background for the scenes which were enacted in the arena before it, but presently, after the wooden benches had been pretty well filled by slaves and Sagoths, I discovered the purpose of the bowlders, for then the Mahars began to file into the enclosure.
With great leaps and bounds he came, straight toward the arena wall directly beneath where we sat, and then accident carried him, in one of his mighty springs, completely over the barrier into the midst of the slaves and Sagoths just in front of us.