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clock in

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Begin work, as in She clocked in late again. Also, clock out, end work, as in Please wait for me; I forgot to clock out. The allusion here is to punching a time clock, a device that punches the time on a card to record when an employee arrives and departs. [Late 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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