work fingers to the bone


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Related to work fingers to the bone: work one's fingers to the bone

work (one's) fingers to the bone

To work excessively hard. Likened to literally wearing the skin off of one's hands from too much manual labor. I have worked my fingers to the bone renovating this house, and I'm glad to say that it has all been worth it. You have everyone working their fingers to the bone. You need to give them a break or they'll burn out.
See also: bone, finger, work

work one's fingers to the bone

Cliché to work very hard. I worked my fingers to the bone so you children could have everything you needed. Now look at the way you treat me! I spent the day working my fingers to the bone, and now I want to relax.
See also: bone, finger, work

work (one's) fingers to the bone

To labor extremely hard; toil or travail.
See also: bone, finger, work

work one's fingers to the bone, to

To work extremely hard. This hyperbole, with its image of working the skin and flesh off one’s fingers, dates from the nineteenth century. The eighteenth century had to work like a horse; Jonathan Swift used this version in his Journal to Stella (1710): “Lord Wharton . . . is working like a horse for elections.” Some nineteenth-century exaggerators stated to work like a galley-slave. In America that translated into work like a nigger, which of course is offensive in the extreme (and probably was then, too).
See also: finger, work