Posted by Lewis on April 08, 2008 at 09:26:
In Reply to: Work ones ticket posted by David FG on April 02, 2008 at 05:03:
: : Where does the phrase 'to work ones ticket' meaning to be naughty or difficult come from?
: : I have never heard it used like that. As far as I am aware, 'to work one's ticket' applies to an enlisted soldier, and means to obtain discharge before the agreed length of service has been reached.
: I find it difficult to see how that could come to mean being naughty or difficult.
I can think of two uses - one is as DFG said to wangle an early ticket home from the forces and the second is to get passage on a boat by helping out.
I suppose that being dishonourably discharged from the army is one way of being sent home, so naughtiness could be part of it.