I found the phrase America is “the workingest nation” on earth in the following sentence of Time magazine’s (November 14) article titled “Whatever happened to upward mobility.”
For the first time in 20 years, the percentage of the population employed in the US is lower than in U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. “We like to think of America as the workingest nation on earth. But that’s no longer the case,” says Ron Haskins, a co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families.
I know the word “working” as an adjective, but I don’t think I’ve come across the word being used in the superlative degree like this. MS Windows 7 spell-check on my PC keeps demanding to correct “workingest” into “work ingest” and “workings” when I'm posting this question.
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines “working” as an adjective, meaning;
- Having a job for which you are paid.
- Having a job that involves hard physical work rather than office work, studying etc.
- Connected with your job and the time you spend doing it.
Plus five other, situational definitions.
Is “workingest nation, (people, men, women, laborers, students)” used as often as “the hardest working” or “the most hard-working nation, (people, men, women, laborers, students)” in the world?