work one's fingers to the bone, to

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

Also, work one's tail or butt off . Exert oneself, labor very hard, as in She's working her fingers to the bone to support her children, or I work my tail off and then the government takes half my income in taxes. The first hyperbole, with its image of working the skin and flesh off one's fingers, dates from the mid-1800s; the less polite variants date from the first half of the 1900s.
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