back to the salt mines

Slang Dictionary

back to the salt mines definition


  1. phr.
    back to the workplace. : Well, it's Monday morning. Back to the salt mines.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

back to the 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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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