slave


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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

be a slave of (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 of fashion. He can't leave the house without making sure every part of his outfit is perfect.
See also: of, slave

slave over a hot stove

To spend a lot of time and effort preparing and cooking a meal. I spent all day slaving over a hot stove, and now you say you aren't hungry?
See also: hot, over, slave

slave away

To work strenuously and continuously (doing something). I slave away over a hot stove all afternoon, and you can't even be bothered to finish what's on your plate? I've been slaving away at this report for the last three days. I'm just ready for it to be finished! I refuse to slave away for minimum wage
See also: away, slave

work like a beaver

To work very intently, persistently, and assiduously. A reference to beavers' reputation of being extremely industrious. I worked like a beaver the entire summer after high school to earn enough cash to buy my first guitar. The kids are all working like beavers to get the pageant ready in time.
See also: beaver, like, work

work like a slave

To work very intensely for a long or continuous period of time, especially doing something thankless or menial. The boss had us working like slaves to get the project ready on time. I worked like a slave the entire summer after high school to earn enough cash to buy my first guitar. I've been out here working like a slave while you sit inside sipping lemonade. Could you maybe lend me a hand?
See also: like, slave, work

slave market

slang An area where day laborers gather to be hired by a prospective employer. Potentially offensive. I'm just out of prison with no experience or qualifications. Where else am I going to find work other than the slave market?
See also: market, slave

slave over (something)

To spend a lot of time working strenuously and continuously on or at something. I know you were slaving over your project for weeks, so I'm delighted to hear that you got such great marks on it from your teachers. I slave over a computer for eight hours a day, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of another one. Kids, I spent nearly three hours slaving over a hot stove getting this dinner ready, so by God, you're going to eat it!
See also: over, slave

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

v.
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

verb
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 ?
Kissing her hand, the beautiful slave said: "Madam, I do not know how you find me in this dress that you have had prepared for me; your women assure me that it suits me so well that they hardly knew me.
One day, while the king amused himself talking with his two vizirs and other members of the council, the conversation turned on female slaves. While some declared that it sufficed for a slave to be beautiful, others, and Khacan was among the number, maintained that beauty alone was not enough, but that it must be accompanied by wit, wisdom, modesty, and, if possible, knowledge.
The king not only declared himself to be of this opinion, but charged Khacan to procure him a slave who should fulfil all these conditions.
The slaves having been sent away, Noureddin went to open it himself.
There is now no other resource left but to sell your slaves and your furniture."
First then he sold the slaves, and subsisted for a time on the proceeds, after that the furniture was sold, and as much of it was valuable it sufficed for some time.
Then, taking the beautiful Persian, he returned home amidst the acclamations of the people, who detested Saouy so much that they would neither interfere in his behalf nor allow his slaves to protect him.
Covered from head to foot with mire and streaming with blood he rose, and leaning on two of his slaves went straight to the palace, where he demanded an audience of the king, to whom he related what had taken place in these words:
Now here it must be related that when the Caliph went upstairs with the plate of fish he ordered the vizir to hasten to the palace and bring back four slaves bearing a change of raiment, who should wait outside the pavilion till the Caliph should clap his hands.
The Caliph at that moment clapped his hands, and the vizir and the four slaves entering took off the fisherman's dress and put on him that which they had brought.
To gain this end, he loaded several of his own slaves with rich gifts, and presented himself at their head to the king, saying that they were from the new king on his coronation.
Saouy, accompanied by twenty of his own slaves, went to the prison to fetch Noureddin, whom he mounted on a wretched horse without a saddle.
Khacan, entering shortly after this, was much astonished to find his wife and her slaves in tears, and the beautiful Persian greatly perturbed.
As soon, then, as Khacan returned home he sent for the dealers in female slaves, and charged them directly they had found such a one as he described to inform him.
Some time having elapsed, on account of the long journey, since the beautiful Persian had been to the bath, five or six days after her purchase the vizir's wife gave orders that the bath should be heated for her, and that her own female slaves should attend her there, and after-wards should array her in a magnificent dress that had been prepared for her.