work (one's) tail off

(redirected from worked their tail off)

work (one's) tail off

To work really hard (on or at something). I know you thought it was just a silly New Year's resolution, but I've been working my tail off at the gym! Sally and Jim work their tails off when we hold our consumer conference each year. I don't know what I'd do without them!
See also: off, tail, work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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, to, work
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"They've worked their tail off - they've been well-organised, disciplined, effective in lots of key areas to negate a lot of the play that MK Dons have and we've caused a few problems ourselves.
"This team, since day one of tryouts, has worked their tail off collectively.
`It's a situation where you feel like those guys came in here and developed and did the right things and worked their tail off. It's a rewarding time for those guys.'
Every player worked their tail off. The work ethic was already there, but maybe now Ed is able to direct it into the right areas.