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Broke the Back of It

Posted by ESC on July 28, 2005

In Reply to: Broke the Back of It posted by Mike on July 28, 2005

: Hi All,
: I'm trying to find the origin of the phrase: Broke the Back of It, as in nearer completion of a task or getting the worst over and done with. I've asked where I work and have been given the following suggestions: linked to back breaking work; breaking the back of a book as you're reading through it, something to do with straws and camels; breaking someone's back as in rendering them impotent.
: Does anyone know if any of these are correct or what the real answer is?
: Any help and seuggestions very welcome.
: Cheers
: Mike

Well, if you are trying to kill something -- human or animal -- a good start is to break its back. (And I don't know that from personal experience.) That's a guess but I feel I'm on pretty firm ground.

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