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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    go back to the salt mines

    A British guy told me that he never heard about "go back to the salt mines". Do most Britons really hardly hear about it or use it?

    Here's the definition about the idiom.

    go back to the salt mines - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    I haven't heard it since my childhood. 'Nose to the grindstone' is a more common image.

    b

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I haven't heard it since my childhood. 'Nose to the grindstone' is a more common image.

    b
    Thank you very much for your reply. That idiom you wrote is what he told me.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    I've looked at the link now, and that ('return to one's daily employment') isn't the meaning I know. Before Solzhenitsyn's work made everyone aware of the gulags, being 'sent to the salt mines' referred to a punishment.

    b

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    #5

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    "Salt" is the root for "salary." I understand "working in the salt mine" to be a colorful way of saying earning your salary.

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    #6

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    To me, it has the idea of work as punishment/servitude/forced labour.

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    Sorry for the wrong link, BobK. I don't know how it happened.

    UE has the definition of back to the Salt mines. Here's the link, and hope it works well.

    Back to the salt mine - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com

    Idiom Definitions for 'Back to the salt mine'

    If someone says they have to go back to the salt mine, they have to return to work.
    I totally agree with Tdol about the interpretation of the idiom. That's what I learned.

    Again, thank you for your attention, every one.

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    #8

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    I have added unwillingly to the definition.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    We must use it differently here.

    It's usually used light-heartedly. You go out for lunch with your coworkers. You have a nice time. Then, after the bill is paid, you say "Welll, this was fun. Now, back to the salt mine" to mean "return to work."

    For most of us, our air conditioned cubicles are not really that onerous a place to work.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: go back to the salt mines

    We must be more work-shy. I've changed it to possibly unwillingly to try to include all views.

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