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?

  • It might be helpful if you googled 'Daily Grind' there are dictionary.com and wikipedia references to it. Sep 9, 2011 at 17:30
  • 2
    @Steve: "grind of my day" doesn't lead to searching for "daily grind" unless you know what you're looking for
    – user10893
    Sep 9, 2011 at 17:31
  • 3
    @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. Sep 9, 2011 at 17:36

5 Answers 5


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.


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

  • 1
    +1 for short & to the point. OP's example is simply a (somewhat misguided, IMHO) variant of a common slang expression. Sep 9, 2011 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?


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.


Daily Grind - when common people had to grind their own corn, barley to make bread and stews using a grind stone. It took a long time to grind enough and was the Daily Grind.

  • Welcome to EL&U Lynaire! Please cite any resources to substantiate your answer. Jun 16, 2015 at 18:40
  • It sounds too obvious not to have been mentioned. Perhaps no one could find anything to support the theory. Jun 16, 2015 at 19:23
  • Bear with, I shall come back to this. As newby I need to catch breath.
    – Lynaire
    Jun 16, 2015 at 19:28
  • Ruth Goldman, Historian, working on Guedelon Castle in Treigny, France. She demonstrated the use of the 'home' grain grinder as used by people working far from commercial mills.
    – Lynaire
    Jun 16, 2015 at 19:43

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