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at half-mast

Partially raised or lowered. The phrase most often describes a flag that has been lowered to honor a recently-deceased person. After our former president died, flags were at half-mast all across the country. My daughter came home from the park covered in dirt, her ponytail at half-mast.

bread is the staff of life

One must eat in order to survive. I know you're trying to get a lot done today, but don't forget to eat—bread is the staff of life.
See also: bread, life, of, staff

the staff of life

Some critical necessity or basic staple. Said especially of staple foods like bread or rice. We want our employees to know that respectful discussion and debate are the staff of life around here. The widespread infection of potatoes—the staff of life in Ireland at the time—caused a nationwide famine that killed over a million people.
See also: life, of, staff

at half-mast

 and at half-staff
[of a flag] halfway up or down its flagpole. The flag was flying at half-mast because the general had died. Americans fly flags at half-staff on Memorial Day.

Bread is the staff of life.

Prov. Food is necessary for people to survive. Miranda likes to give money to charities that feed people. "Other services are important," she reasons, "but bread is the staff of life." Jill: Want to go to lunch with us, Bob? Bob: No. I must work on my novel while inspiration lasts. Jill: Don't forget to eat. Bread is the staff of life, you know.
See also: bread, life, of, staff

at half-mast

Halfway up or down, as in The church bells tolled off and on all day and the flags were at half-mast. This term refers to placing a flag halfway up a ship's mast or flagpole, a practice used as a mark of respect for a person who has died or, at sea, as a distress signal. Occasionally the term is transferred to other objects, as in Tom's pants were at half-mast as he raced around the playground, or The puppy's tail was at half-mast. [First half of 1600s]

staff of life

A staple or necessary food, especially bread. For example, Rice is the staff of life for a majority of the earth's people. This expression, which uses staff in the sense of "a support," was first recorded in 1638.
See also: life, of, staff

a skeleton ˈcrew/ˈstaff/ˈservice

the minimum number of staff necessary to run an organization or service: At weekends we have a skeleton staff to deal with emergencies.
See also: crew, service, skeleton, staff

the ˌstaff of ˈlife

(literary) a basic food, especially bread
See also: life, of, staff

staff of life, the

Bread; sometimes, by extension, any essential food. Understandably this term originated in the Bible (“the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread,” Isaiah 3:1). However, it was not until the eighteenth century that the staff of life was definitively identified with bread (prior to that it had often been corn, the British term for wheat). “Bread, dear brothers, is the staff of life,” wrote Jonathan Swift (A Tale of a Tub, 1704), and so it has remained.
See also: of, staff
References in periodicals archive ?
A temporary reduction in acceptable phone service levels may be necessary to buy time for the staff to address the underlying transactions, as an example, and if so, the use of automated messaging to communicate this temporary reason and the eventual benefit should be considered.
The staff shortage in the accounting profession is at an all-time high, and no relief is in sight.
Three groups of camp staff were interviewed for this study: summer seasonal administrative staff; full-time, year-round camp staff; and organizational staff at related service centers.
In addition, the new partnership would provide for two instructional computer classrooms to be used by both the community and the College, maintained by a staff of computer specialists ("Frequently Asked Questions," 2002).
Cathy's successor (a search is underway) will now provide administrative support to the Executive Director as well as the Legal staff (including managing our library), and will remain the Subscription Coordinator for The Tax Executive.
NIKE Staff Presentations by: Larry Coker, Miami, Jim Tressel, Ohio State, Greg Robinson, Syracuse, Jeff Bower, Southern Mississippi, Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
The answer lies in creating a resident-centered culture, a culture in which the staff are empowered to make decisions in the best interest of residents and families, and which, in the long run, better serve the organization.
Bylaws provide for the orderly conduct of medical staff business and empower the medical executive committee to act on the medical staffs behalf in bringing recommendations to the governing body.
The way the Games would be perceived around the world would essentially come down to how good a job the press centre staff could deliver.
The team included medical directors, patient-care managers, clinical nurse specialists, physicians, microbiologists, and infection control and quality assurance staff.
Minimum staffing levels for nurses' aides were pegged at two hours per resident per day, of total licensed staff at 45 minutes per resident per day, and of RNs at 12 minutes per resident per day.
1, and I am sure many of my colleagues, will be watching what steps you and the Staff Association are going to take towards this end.
Factors impacting negatively on a staff person's level of work satisfaction affect his/her effectiveness in providing quality services to residents.
Would staff time be better spent on new projects than on providing implementation guidance?