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I'm looking for a synonym for the word "time card" or "clock card". I try to find a word for a card with which you can track your work times on a certain device your employe installs for its workers.

I used the expression clock card but a native friend from uk said it is not a common expression.

Can u help me?

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  • "Time card" is far more common than "clock card"
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 11:05
  • "Timesheet" and "Utilisation tracker" are also famously used in addition to "time card".
    – moonstar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 11:12
  • Well, "Timesheet" and "Utilisation" are generally used to split time worked between chargeable projects, at least in the industry I work in.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 11:13

3 Answers 3

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Time card is very common in the US. It originally signified the physical card which workers inserted into a 'clock' to be imprinted or punched with the time of arrival and departure, but it carried over into professional record keeping by the 1960s. Today it is employed in digital contexts, too; to record my time on a given project, I click on a button labeled "timecards" on the internet-based project management program my shop uses.

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  • When I started work as a trainee accountant, at a company employing about 4,000 unskilled labourers, in 1961, they were known as 'clock cards'. They were inserted in a clocking device and the time imprinted on them. Time was paid in units of 15 minutes, so if an employee was one minute late they lost 1/4 hour. Jobs they worked on were recorded on 'time sheets', and each week the wages department would reconcile time paid with time charged. I tend to think that nowadays 'clock cards' will tend to be known as 'time cards'.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 11:45
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    @WS2 Cisatlantically we speak of 'clocking in' and 'clocking out', but the card's always been a timecard. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 12:31
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In Australia (and presumably in other places including Britain) they are called a Bundy clock, after the inventor of the time clock Willard Legrand Bundy. And this gives rise the verb to bundy as in Bundy on or Bundy off.

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  • You have brought back memories from my time in Australia in 1974/5. Oddly I have not heard 'Bundy' used in that way in Britain or elsewhere.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 12:52
  • I was suprised to find it was an American invention, and by the picture in Wikipedia, as I'd always assumed it was an Australian thing. Perhaps only Australians adopted the term.
    – stib
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 5:57
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Time card (or timecard) is commonly used in the US.

The clock itself is frequently called a punch clock and you use it to punch your time card. (This is a reference to the mechanical mechanisms used to imprint the cards in the past.) As such, the time card can also be called a punch card. (This may lead to confusion with the old-fashioned computer input devices, but as they are obsolete for over 30 years, I don't think it will be a source of trouble.)

The acting of putting your time card into the clock is called several different things:

Clocking in/out
Punching in/out
Punching (your time card)
Punching the clock

To be sure, the last three are merely variants of one another, but they are all acceptable forms of this usage.

Punching the clock is the most idiomatic of them. I remember a scene in a movie where someone says "Let's punch the clock and do this!" and a bunch of non-native speakers take him literally and pound a clock with their fists!

That is also an example of another idiomatic usage of punch the clock meaning: Let's work really hard and get this done. It is a direct reference to the time clock above, but being used in a situation where there is clearly no time clock.

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