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A labour of love

Posted by ESC on January 31, 2000

In Reply to: A labour of love posted by help me on January 31, 2000

: in reference to a labour of love ....
: something that one does for love of ....
: for example ... a parent does housework for the love of the children, other parent, house, the love of housework

: which does the phrase
: housework - a labour of love ? suggest??

: any help??

"labor of love -- A labor of love, a work undertaken for the love or liking of it more than for any compensation, has been a common English expression since the 17th century, and it is much older, deriving from the biblical 'Your worke of faith and labour of love. (1 Thess. i,3)" From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

If I'm understanding this correctly, a "labor of love" is a task a person really enjoys. Like a woman might love sewing, so sewing curtains for her home or for a friend is enjoyable even if she's doing it for free. This would be different from a mother (or maybe father) doing a task she hates, like housework, because she loves her family and wants to make a happy home.

So housework might be labor you do because you love your family. But housework wouldn't be a "labor of love" unless you really enjoy mopping those floors.

Does this help? If not, please post again and we'll give it another try.