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Somebody told me today in chat:

before i get into the grind of my day... is there anything you are waiting on from us or need asap?

What does the expression the grind of my day mean? Where does it come from?

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It might be helpful if you googled 'Daily Grind' there are dictionary.com and wikipedia references to it. –  Steve Moser Sep 9 '11 at 17:30
@Steve: "grind of my day" doesn't lead to searching for "daily grind" unless you know what you're looking for –  simchona Sep 9 '11 at 17:31
@simchona I intended for my comment to be helpful. It was not a comment on the quality of the question. Though I see how it could be interpreted the wrong way. –  Steve Moser Sep 9 '11 at 17:36

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

One of the colloquial definitions of grind is (from the Oxford English Dictionary):

Steady hard work; labour of a monotonous kind, esp. close and hard study; an instance of this, a dull and laborious task.

The first written use of this is:

1851 B. H. Hall Coll. College Words, Grind, an exaction; an oppressive action. Students speak of a very long lesson which they are required to learn, or of anything which is very unpleasant or difficult to perform as a grind.

So the grind of one's day would be the daily, monotonous work that one has to do. It is more common to refer to this as the daily grind.

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It's a variation on the more common form the daily grind, which means:

Definition: everyday routine, esp. monotonous
Example: The daily grind was starting to get to her.
Usage: slang

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+1 for short & to the point. OP's example is simply a (somewhat misguided, IMHO) variant of a common slang expression. –  FumbleFingers Sep 9 '11 at 22:27

The question seems to mean, "Can I do something for you quickly (that needs done), before I get to the "grind" (longest part) of my day, and am therefore unavailable to help you?

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I have always assume that it is a metaphor. When you grind metal (or whatever), you wear bits off gradually. Each pass of the grinder takes off a tiny amount of metal, but over a long time a lot is worn away.

The metaphor for work can go both ways:

  • Negative: Hard work uses up your energy and your enthusiasm, but not all in one go. It's ground away gradually over hours, months or years
  • Positive: You may not achieve much in a day, but by grinding away at your tasks, you gradually achieve something

Note that the metaphor also applies to "grinding" in role-playing games; gradually building up your character's stats by taking part in minor battles etc.

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