Posted by R. Berg on July 03, 2003
In Reply to: Workbrickle posted by Bookworm on July 03, 2003
: : : Wondering if anyone has any ideas on the etymology of 'workbrickle.' My experience with the term is limited to use among my older relatives, but I can best characterize 'workbrickle' as an adjective used to describe a hard-working person. It's connotations are similar to those of 'workaholic', though I think someone who is workbrickle tends to be more inclined towards physical labor than, say, paper-pushing (i.e. a lawyer might be a workaholic if he works late hours every night, but he's not necessarily workbrickle).
: : The Oxford English Dictionary has it as "work-brittle."
: : "Work-brittle, [adj., dialectal]. Also -brattle, -brackle, etc. (see 'Eng. Dial. Dict. s.v. 'Work-bracco'). [from WORK sb. or v.; the second element appears to be BRITTLE [adj.], but the sense-development is obscure.] Eager to work, industrious."
: : The OED's earliest quotation illustrating its use is dated 1647.
: The OED makes no reference to connotation?
: I would find it interesting if the term "workaholic" could be further divided into white collar and blue collar.
The OED's definition is just the short one above.
Now that you mention it, I never hear "workaholic" used of blue-collar workers.