All in a Day’s Work Meaning
Definition: Routine or expected.
This idiom is used to share that some activity is a typical part of one’s daily work, or is something that is done frequently. It is usually used to describe activities that might sound unusual or unpleasant to others.
Origin of All in a Day’s Work
Although the exact origins of the idiom are unknown, it appears to have originated in the early 20th century.
The first recorded usage of the expression available to view online is in a text called “Printed Ink,” published in the year 1926. The document shows the idiom in the following quote,
- Burlington men are of that stamp. For them it was all in a day’s work to run a regular passenger train from Chicago to Denver, 1,000 miles, for 355 days in one year without being late.
Examples of All in a Day’s Work
The usage of this idiom is somewhat counter-intuitive because, although it refers to something that is routine for the speaker, it is used to describe something that doesn’t sound routine to the listener.
For example, this engineer is horrified to discover what normal activity his friend in the medical field experiences on a daily basis.
Ezekiel: It must be very glamorous to be a doctor.
Maggie: Ha! Not at all, I assure you. Trust me, some days I think I should have become an engineer like you.
Ezekiel: But it must be very rewarding to help people.
Maggie: It is. However, it’s not as rewarding to have someone vomit on you.
Ezekiel: That can’t happen often!
Maggie: It’s all in a day’s work. It happens a few times a week. I work with a lot of babies.
Here is another example, in which the idiom is used to describe an exhausting schedule.
Mila: I heard that you finished reading a book that was 1000’s of pages long, and also wrote a detailed report on it. You must be so tired!
Tyrion: Not at all. It’s all in a day’s work. I even had time to do my morning calisthenics.
- Picking stocks, playing cupid all in a day’s work for Warren Buffett.– Omaha World Herald
- “I have to do this — to expose myself — to bring this hate into the open,” he said upon recovering from his injury. –Chicago Tribune
The phrase all in a day’s work is used to clarify that something that sounds unusual or harsh is actually commonplace.