Back to the salt mines

back to the salt mines

adverb phrase

Returned to hard work and unremitting discomfort after a period of relative ease and pleasure: I had a week off, then back to the salt mines

[1920s+; fr the tradition of Russian penal servitude in Siberian salt mines]
Resume work, usually with some reluctance, as in With my slavedriver of a boss, even on Saturdays it’s back to the salt mines. This term alludes to the Russian practice of punishing prisoners by sending them to work in the salt mines of Siberia. Today the term is only used ironically. [ Late 1800s ]
Also see: keep one’s nose to the grindstone


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