the gravy train

the gravy train

A state, position, or job in which one makes an excessive amount of money without expending much or any effort. I'll be on the gravy train once I get paid from the settlement of the lawsuit! My brother ended up on the gravy train when he married his wife, whose family owns one of the largest oil companies in the world.
See also: gravy, train
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a gravy train

COMMON If you describe something as a gravy train, you mean it is an easy way of earning a lot of money over a long period. Software companies realise that the gravy train can't go on for much longer as the recession causes prices to fall. The boardroom gravy train continued to roll happily along yesterday, with news of pay-offs to three executives totalling nearly 1.4 million pounds. Note: You usually use this expression in a disapproving way. Note: In the United States, `gravy' was slang for money or profit. Railway workers invented this expression in the early 1920s to describe a regular journey which provided good pay for little work.
See also: gravy, train
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the ˈgravy train

(informal, especially American English) (of a particular job or situation) an easy way of getting a lot of money and other benefits: Financial services produce very high earnings, and a lot of people are trying to get onto the gravy train.
See also: gravy, train
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

gravy train

n. a job that brings in a steady supply of easy money or gravy. This kind of job is a real gravy train.
See also: gravy, train
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

gravy train, the

Easy money; the good life, obtained with little effort. This American slang term became current during the financial boom of the 1920s. It originated in railroad slang, where “gravy train” meant a run on which there was good pay and little work. (Gravy itself became slang for easy money, or an illicit profit obtained through graft, in the early 1900s.) “There was a moment . . . when the whole Jocelyn sideshow seemed to be boarding the gravy train . . . on to fatter triumphs” (Mary McCarthy, The Groves of Academe, 1953).
See also: gravy
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
BIRMINGHAM chart stars UB40 have taken a pot-shot at Donald Trump, Jacob Rees-Mogg and other politicians on the gravy train. The band's new single boasts a cover cartoon of high-profile politicos as they sing "Send them all to Hell".
This was where our friend loaded the gravy train with peanut butter sandwiches, jam sandwiches and raw eggs in the shell.
And off the gravy train like the Kinnocks who did ride the train big time.
NOW that the British electorate have democratically voted to leave the EU, I've watched the self-servers, liars, cheats, scaremongers etc in the political field turn not only on the few upfront politicians we have but also on each other, not to mention the rats jumping ship at the prospect of the gravy train crashing.
"It is called the gravy train - and the EU is the biggest gravy train in the world.
This Government wants to take us back to Victorian times, yet all the while the gravy train in Westminster rolls on.
They have lost all credibility The yellows, red and blue It's time to call a taxi For we have seen right through You just do not get it Maybe you are too thick I do not wish to be unkind But you lot get on our wick All three of you ignored us When concerns we raised with you Called us all sorts of names Now you're done, you're through Career politicians you have had your day The country has been patient Now go, be on your way Politicians, councillors Who ride the gravy train We will now vote you out And don't come back again William Allen, Westcotes, Tile Hill.
He said: "Anyone who thinks that being leader of a county borough council offers some kind of cheap ticket for the gravy train needs to get a reality check.
While some may have genuine reasons to defect, personally, I would not want to vote for a person whose major concern is to keep their fat backsides on the gravy train. These are the very people such a large part of the electorate are heartily sick of.
Riding on your gravy train, but the gravy train got broke: Ran out of steam, no loan and hope.
UKIP leader and MEP Nick Farage fumed: "The gravy train is a disgrace - MEPs are paid far too much and the monitoring of claiming expenses is a shambles."
And I don't suppose his desire to be an MP and all-round Man of the People has anything to do with the fact he's already been told by Gordon Brown's mob that his job on the gravy train won't be on offer once Blair has gone.
Therefore, in an effort to cash in on the media-fueled frenzy, and with the possibility of a Gap or iTunes payday not too far in the distance, many once-strident music-for-music's-sake artists have avoided standard musical evolutions in favor of the much easier path of the gravy train, which, admittedly, beats the 9-to-5 grind.
THE gravy train is not confined to politicians but now has top civil servants on board.
As a result, the gravy train failed to stop at Goodison