When someone says not to make labor of it what does it mean?


I haven’t heard it, but it sounds as if it means ‘not to make excessive work out of something’. The British English equivalent might be not to make a meal of it. To someone who was doing just that, we might say You’re making rather heavy weather of it.

  • Thanks a lot, it was part of a dialog in Sherlock Holmes. – eneepo Jun 17 '12 at 6:49
  • @eneepo: Then I should perhaps have recognized it! I don't think that exact expression would be heard today. – Barrie England Jun 17 '12 at 7:15
  • Google indicates that this is a line from a screenplay (of A Scandal in Bohemia) rather than a book; and it was "not to make a labour of it". Although that citation can be gleaned from the search results, I can't get at the source. – Andrew Leach Jun 17 '12 at 8:58
  • It was told by Mr. Hilton Cubitt to Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) in a dramatized version of "The dancing men". – Renae Lider Sep 3 '14 at 10:41

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