at the coal face

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To be directly engaged in the operations of a business, rather than in a hands-off, managerial position.

Etymology:

  • From being in a coal mine, at the face where the mining is actually occurring, especially in dark, cramped, dirty, hazardous conditions. Compare front line and trenches, of similar formation.
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Submitted on July 07, 2010

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to at the coal face

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "at the coal face." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Dec. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/at-the-coal-face_10960>.

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