pick and shovel work

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - pick and shovel work

"pick and shovel work"

boring and detailed work, such as examining documents for mistakes


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - pick and shovel work

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  How's your new job going?

Friend 2:  Not bad.  I spend most of every day proofreading documents.

Friend 1:  Sounds pretty boring.

Friend 2:  It is but pick and shovel work is the basis for every successful case.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - pick and shovel work

Two coworkers are talking ...

Coworker 1:  I've been working here six months and I still only get to do the boring drudge work.

Coworker 2:  It's to be expected for the first year. You will eventually get more interesting work.

Coworker 1:  Well, I'm getting tired of all this pick and shovel work.

pick and shovel work - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   4   click for frequency by country

pick and shovel work - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for pick and shovel work.

pick and shovel work - Examples:

1)  Real collaboration doesn't just happen; it requires constant pick-and-shovel work to organize conference calls, put together convenings, write joint funding proposals, and so on.

2)  Minor’s trip was what he jokingly calls “pick and shovelwork—calling on some of the 8,000 restaurants and stores that carry Sean Minor Wines.

3)  Jeannette was there for everything, she did the pick and shovel work and established the children’s education program.

4)  Wyden sent letters to the intelligence chiefs, some private, some public, seeking clarification. But after months of what he calls “pick-and-shovelwork to get a response, none was forthcoming.

5)  A lot of “pick and shovelwork was involved, calling on companies and using brokers to find possible opportunities, meeting with management and preparing letters of intent.

6)  They do the pick and shovel work, like vetting businesses -- somebody's got to do all that stuff.

7)  All that pick-and-shovel work was pretty important, as it turned out.

8)  And, lest we forget, our organizations are full of peers who might not be customers in any traditional sense, but whose needs, interests, cooperation, collaboration, and requirements we need to pro actively recognize and live up to in our pick-and-shovel work.

9)  ... mingle with questions like the offensive backfield up and down Tennessee's roster, leaving plenty of offseason pick-and-shovel work necessary to avoid further humdrums in 2014.

10)  We're still doing the basic pick and shovel work to get our name out there.

11)  With a little time and pick-and-shovel work, a stable of mentors can be signed up. 

12)  ...which it is why it is up to each of us to do the pick-and-shovel work of building the political will to motivate our country to recognize this crisis ...

13)  It's a lot of pick-and-shovel work to start aggressively managing expenses. 

14)  The pick and shovel work of actual research takes more time and patience than most people are willing to devote to the killing.

15)  Perhaps a bit inaccessible, but anyone who is truly interested in the factual account should be prepared to do some pick and shovel work.

16)  ... virtually without regard for whether these jobs were jobs for the future with high technological requirements or pure pick and shovel work.

17)  He always got stuck with the pick and shovel work

18)  When you start out in your career you should be prepared to do a lot of pick and shovel work

19)  Entering ten thousand printed documents in the database is a lot of pick and shovel work

20)  Pick and shovel work is the basis of all success.