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.
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.
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.
n. a job that brings in a steady supply of easy money or gravy. This kind of job is a real gravy train.
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