[pik-uh n-shuhv-uh l]


marked by drudgery; laborious: the pick-and-shovel work necessary to get a political campaign underway.

Origin of pick-and-shovel

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pick-and-shovel

Historical Examples of pick-and-shovel

  • I tell her that pick-and-shovel man get fifteen dollars a day in the mines.

    Love of Life

    Jack London

  • Did you catch and hold the pick-and-shovel men from this camp?

    Empire Builders

    Francis Lynde

  • The professor was not a success as a pick-and-shovel man, though he did his best.

    The Lookout Man

    B. M. Bower

  • There are no factories shut down through lack of labor, no projected railroads unbuilt for want of pick-and-shovel men.

  • Up from the gravelly, pick-and-shovel labor of the new-made grave it lifts its weirdly magnetic eyes to the Widow's tears.

    The Indiscreet Letter

    Eleanor Hallowell Abbott