phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Eke out a living

Posted by ESC on October 19, 2003

In Reply to: Eek out a living posted by Lotg on October 19, 2003

: Don't know about the spelling. Clearly this suggests to struggle to earn a living, or barely earning a living. But why eek? (If that's how it's spelt)

: Where did this come from?

From Merriam-Webster online

Main Entry: 1 eke
Pronunciation: 'Ek
Function: adverb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English Eac; akin to Old High German ouh also, Latin aut or, Greek au again
Date: before 12th century

Main Entry: eke out
Function: transitive verb
Date: 1596
1 : to make up for the deficiencies of : SUPPLEMENT Eked out his income by getting a second job.
2 : to make (a supply) last by economy

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