glutton for punishment

Idioms & Phrases

glutton for punishment

Someone who habitually takes on burdensome or unpleasant tasks or unreasonable amounts of work. For example, Rose agreed to organize the church fair for the third year in a rowshe's a glutton for punishment. This expression originated as a glutton for work in the late 1800s, punishment being substituted about a century later.

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