Words That Put You To Work

Labor Day is a time to recognize those who toil in this country, slog through their expected tasks, and simply work hard. It's also a time to enjoy the waning days of summer before the work of the school year resumes in earnest. Here are some vocabulary words inspired by hard work.

Read more about The Hard-working Words of Labor Day.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. labor
    any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
    The government also launched the labor reforms that were central to Macron’s campaign promise to boost France’s lagging economy through pro-free market policies.Seattle Times (Aug 6, 2017)
    Any manual or physical activity that is not done for fun can be called a labor. A labor is a task or a burden that one must accomplish, usually in the course of one’s job. In modern times, when fewer people do physical activity as part of their work, a labor has become anything you don’t want to do — anything that is a long, unenjoyable slog can be called a labor.
  2. productive
    capable of bringing forth, especially abundantly
    In his Tuesday statement, Tillerson said Washington was interested in a “ productive dialogue” but only on the basis of Pyongyang’s acceptance of nuclear disarmament.Washington Post (Aug 5, 2017)
  3. toil
    work hard
    Klopp’s side frequently faced, and toiled against, opponents who sat back en masse and played on the counterattack last season.The Guardian (Aug 4, 2017)
    Toil comes from the the French toiler which meant “agitate, stir up, entangle, writhe about,” and is ultimately from the Latin for hammer, tudes. This etymology effectively communicates how toil can beat you down and exhaust you, until you think you have given everything to your work and there is nothing left inside of you.
  4. conscientious
    characterized by extreme care and great effort
    “They were brilliant, really nice people, so conscientious and courteous,” he said.The Guardian (May 26, 2017)
  5. slog
    walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
    What followed was a months-long slog as the two sides, pitted against one another, failed to agree on a way forward.Washington Post (Jul 26, 2017)
    Labor, toil and slog all indicate hard work, but only slog carries with it a sense of just how difficult, how mind-numbingly awful, that work can be. Slog also has the sense of an extended period of hard work, not just one or two tasks but an extended timeframe where all one does is toil away at job after job, in a series that goes on seemingly forever, with no end in sight.
  6. efficient
    being effective without wasting time, effort, or expense
    At a fleet and efficient 81 minutes — several minutes shorter than its original running time — “Kidnap” is an action movie with barely a wasted frame.Washington Post (Aug 3, 2017)
  7. industrious
    characterized by hard work and perseverance
    It is entirely reasonable for every industrious and diligent person in our society to expect access to dignified, important and adequately compensated work.The Guardian (Feb 16, 2017)
    No word better exemplifies the bright side of labor than this word, which means inventive, resourceful and clever. Being industrious falls under that old slogan of “work smarter, not harder.” Industrious people can use the tools at their disposal and find shortcuts to operate more efficiently rather than having to engage in long, drawn out tasks that take forever and leave one exhausted.
  8. assiduous
    marked by care and persistent effort
    A spokeswoman for UKA said the email highlighted just how assiduous the organisation is in ensuring that classification is done fairly and robustly.The Guardian (Sep 4, 2016)
  9. drudgery
    hard, monotonous, routine work
    But a washing machine is clean and efficient and replaces work that was always drudgery.BBC (May 14, 2017)
  10. diligence
    conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task
    "This new outbreak is being handled with extreme care, diligence and with the experience gained from the first outbreak," said Astral in a statement.Reuters (Aug 2, 2017)
    To work with a sense of diligence is to work with care and dedication, and to persevere until the task at hand is complete. To be diligent is to be aware that the work one does is a reflection of themselves, and to take pride in that fact. People are inevitably judged, at least in part, by the work they do, and those who exhibit diligence understand this and want to put forth the best part of who they are in their work.
  11. wage
    something that remunerates
    Many low-wage workers in the Gateway City will lose raises they received in May, when the minimum wage increased to $10 an hour.Wall Street Journal (Aug 27, 2017)
  12. salary
    fixed payment for services
    The government is set to reveal whether companies should publish their pay ratio - the salary gap between their executives and wider workforce.BBC (Aug 25, 2017)
  13. employment
    the state of having a job
    Conditions are unsanitary and there is little to no access to healthcare, education or employment.Time (Aug 24, 2017)

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