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Working Too Hard
Time-length-icon 1m 51s
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Publish-date-icon September 28, 2007
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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

There are two very similar idioms often used to describe someone who is working too hard or too many hours.

The first example in this podcast is the phrase "burning the candle at both ends." This idiom brings to mind the picture of a candle burning on both ends and being used up twice as fast. In the old days , when people lighted their home at night with candles this would be considered wasteful.

Suppose someone was working full time in a demanding job and was also going to school at night to work on another degree. A friend might describe this person as "burning the candle at both ends."

A second and very similar idiom is "burning the midnight oil." In this case it must refer to when most people lighted their homes with oil lamps. If someone was up late at night working or reading by the light of an oil lamp, they would be "burning the midnight oil."

Suppose someone has a term paper due in a few days and they have not started yet. This person might say to a friend "I'll be burning the midnight oil until I get this term paper finished."

I hope you've enjoyed this. I hope you will visit my English language blog at http://philsenglish.spaces.live.com/ because I have more control of the visual presentation there and can easily add pictures which help explain the idioms.

Thank you for listening to Phil's English Podcast, copyrighted 2007 all rights reserved.

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