One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person condemned to man the oars in a galley.
- ‘And I could do nothing but sit there like a galley slave.’
- ‘He notes that military captives and criminals were available in quantity and reminds us (in interesting detail) of the long tradition of galley slaves at the oars of Mediterranean shipping.’
- ‘I'll bet John Knox never complained of it, even during his stint as a galley slave.’
- ‘Like the Baron's son, Pangloss received one hundred strokes to the soles of his feet and was sent to be a galley slave.’
- ‘It had the practical effect of freeing thousands of Christian galley slaves.’
- 1.1 A person who works very hard, typically performing menial or thankless tasks.‘call-centre workers are the galley slaves of the twenty-first century’
hard worker, toiler, workhorse, stakhanovitemenial, menial worker, slave, toiler, lackeyView synonyms
- ‘Since arriving on the scene one year ago, the Liberal appointee has accelerated the review process to ramming speed, using his faithful retainers, naturally, as the galley slaves.’
- ‘Government galley slaves were angry that they had to shell out $30.00 for the official Christmas do last night, kindly organised for them by Chief Whip Jim Lloyd.’
- ‘All we need to remember is that there were many galley slaves but few overseers.’
- ‘Men are turning into galley slaves with cooking, washing and ironing duties while women are out on the town - unescorted, for goodness sake.’
- ‘The considerate husband will keep in mind that his wife is a living, throbbing human being, not merely a galley slave to do his bidding.’
- ‘How do those "galley slaves" of the Japanese factory bear such conditions of labour?’
- ‘"We worked like galley slaves to get them all sorted out."’
- ‘The missive, from Paul Winkler, a former Hollinger galley slave, pointed the OSC to Tubby's and David Radler's self-dealing.’
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