phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Day's Work

Posted by ESC on February 15, 2003

In Reply to: More... posted by Word Camel on February 14, 2003

: : : : Can anybody tell me what the phrase "a day's work for a day's pay" means? I need to translate this saying into german. However I am not sure whether I understood it correctly.

: : : I am away from my library so I can't give you references at this point. But this phrase (to me) is about being an honest, good employee. The worker gives his/her employer a FULL day's work for a day's pay. If you are paid for eight hours, you are hard at work for eight hours. Not drinking coffee and gossiping with co-workers.

: : : In modern terms, it is about not being a slacker, a goof-off or a goldbricker. You don't cheat your employer.

: : This is an old slogan used in British Labour movement (and possibly the American as well)where is was about fair employment practices. In other words, a worker should be paid the going rate for the work put in regardless of his gender or race, etc. A worker paid less because he's on a job training scheme would be an example of someone who is putting in a day's work but not receiving a day's pay

: : I am not sure which understanding of the expression predates the other but the idea that it's understood as being about not cheating employers is interesting.

: Just found more evidence - sort of. A variation is the slogan of the American Federation of Labor, that is "a fair day's pay for a fair day's work"

I believe you're right. My evidence: a brand name for plugs of tobacco chewed by miners (smoking wasn't allowed in the mines) was called "Day's Work."