slave

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Related to slaves: Slavic, Slavs, Chattel slavery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ?
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.
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.
Leaving the beautiful Persian shut up in the room alone, he went ont to seek the slave merchants, announcing to them that he had found the pearl among slaves, and asking them to come and put a value upon her.
"May it please your Majesty, I had gone to the slave market to buy myself a cook.
He ordered the captain of the guard to take with him forty men, to pillage Noureddin's house, to rase it to the ground, and to bring Noureddin and the slave to him.
When the captain of the guard reached Noureddin's house he caused his soldiers to burst open the door and to enter by force, but no trace was to be found of Noureddin and his slave, nor could the neighbours give any information about them.
The Caliph (still in the character of fisherman) said to him, "Sir, I perceive that this fair lady is your slave. Oblige me, I beg you, by relating your history."
Noureddin willingly granted this request, and recounted everything from the purchase of the slave down to the present moment.
When Noureddin had left the room, Scheih Ibrahim, who had hitherto kept silence, said: "Kerim, for two miserable fish thou hast received a purse and a slave. I tell thee I will take the slave, and as to the purse, if it contains silver thou mayst keep one piece, if gold then I will take all and give thee what copper pieces I have in my purse."
Still personating the fisherman, the Caliph answered: "Scheih Ibrahim, whatever is in the purse I will share equally with you, but as to the slave I will keep her for myself.
Throwing himself on the ground at the Caliph's feet, he said: "Commander of the Faithful, your miserable slave has offended you, and craves forgiveness."
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.