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Related to slaves: Slavic, Slavs, Chattel slavery

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 ?
Ca- pable of high attainments as an intellectual and moral being--needing nothing but a comparatively small amount of cultivation to make him an orna- ment to society and a blessing to his race--by the law of the land, by the voice of the people, by the terms of the slave code, he was only a piece of property, a beast of burden, a chattel personal, nevertheless!
After apologizing for his ignorance, and reminding the audience that slav- ery was a poor school for the human intellect and heart, he proceeded to narrate some of the facts in his own history as a slave, and in the course of his speech gave utterance to many noble thoughts and thrilling reflections.
Seize him and strip him, slaves,'' said the knight, ``and let the fathers of his race assist him if they can.
Strip him, slaves, and chain him down upon the bars.
Yes, sir," answered the galley slave, "for there is nothing worse than singing under suffering.
That," said the galley slave, "is like a man having money at sea when he is dying of hunger and has no way of buying what he wants; I say so because if at the right time I had had those twenty ducats that your worship now offers me, I would have greased the notary's pen and freshened up the attorney's wit with them, so that to-day I should be in the middle of the plaza of the Zocodover at Toledo, and not on this road coupled like a greyhound.
Only among the seats are there left any of your fighting-men, and they and the slave women are fast being cut down.
During the campaign when Lincoln was first a candidate for the Presidency, the slaves on our far-off plantation, miles from any railroad or large city or daily newspaper, knew what the issues involved were.
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.
Yes, Tara of Helium, they come," replied the slave.
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.
Blot out, ye friends of slavery, from the catalogue of human passions, brutal lust, cruelty, and the abuse of irresponsible power (of all earthly temptations the most difficult to be resisted), and when ye have done so, and not before, we will inquire whether it be the interest of a master to lash and maim the slaves, over whose lives and limbs he has an absolute control!
She also changed the slave into a cow, which she sent to my steward.
If the correlative of 'the slave' is said to be 'the master', then, though all irrelevant attributes of the said 'master', such as 'biped', 'receptive of knowledge', 'human', should be removed, and the attribute 'master' alone left, the stated correlation existing between him and the slave will remain the same, for it is of a master that a slave is said to be the slave.
A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest.