clock in

Idioms & Phrases

clock in

Begin work, as in She clocked in late again. Also, clock out, end work, as in Please wait for me; I forgot to clock out. The allusion here is to punching a time clock, a device that punches the time on a card to record when an employee arrives and departs. [Late 1800s]

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