at the coal face

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English[edit]

at the coal face, where the work is actually happening
At the coal face - geograph.org.uk - 156088.jpg

Etymology[edit]

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.

Prepositional phrase[edit]

at the coal face

  1. (UK, idiomatic) To be directly engaged in the operations of a business, rather than in a hands-off, managerial position.

Synonyms[edit]

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