work one's tail off, to

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work one's tail off

 and work one's buns off; work one's ass off; work one's butt off
Inf. Fig. to work very hard. (Use caution with butt.) I worked my tail off to get done on time. You spend half your life working your butt off—and for what?
See also: off, tail, work

work one's tail off, to

To work very hard. This inelegant locution dates from the first half of the twentieth century. James Farrell used it in Studs Lonigan (1932–35): “This idea of sweating your tail off with work.” It also is put as to work one’s ass or butt off. See also break/bust one's ass.
See also: tail, work