odd job

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

odd-job, oddjob

Noun[edit]

odd job (plural odd jobs)

  1. Temporary employment.
    • 2003, Sam Staggs, Close-up on Sunset Boulevard, →ISBN:
      They believe that when a partnership works as well as theirs has, you shouldn't analyze it too much. Success came in the midforties when Paramount hired them for the musical equivalent of odd jobs.
    • 2005, Frank J. Landy, Employment Discrimination Litigation, →ISBN:
      On the other hand, if the decedent wanted to be a veterinarian but had never worked full time, worked odd jobs, had an English degree, and had worked as a receptionist at the veterinarian's office, it might be different.
    • 2010, S. D Murdoch, Into the Field, →ISBN:
      Most of the usual things that average people sought seem to come his way anyway, for example, money when he needed it, where he'd take an odd job until he earned enough to get by for a while and then he'd hit the road again.
  2. Task of an incidental, unspecialized nature.
    • 1910, P. G. Wodehouse, The Intrusion of Jimmy, ch. 1,
      He moved all over the States, without a cent, picking up any odd job he could get.
    • 2009, Malcolm Stevens, Evan's War, →ISBN, page 205:
      For the next two weeks I bided my time, sleeping at night on an army-issue metal cot in a small, bare room separate from the other men; working during the day at whatever odd job the duty officer saw fit to hand out.
    • 2012, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Mucker, →ISBN:
      It was the day before they were due to arrive in Kansas City that Billy earned a hand-out from a restaurant keeper in a small town by doing some odd jobs for the man.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used in the plural form.

Verb[edit]

odd job (third-person singular simple present odd jobs, present participle odd jobbing, simple past and past participle odd jobbed)

  1. Alternative form of odd-job
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities:
      "I hope, sir," pleaded the abashed Mr. Cruncher, "that a gentleman like yourself wot I've had the honour of odd jobbing till I'm grey at it, would think twice about harming of me, even if it wos so—I don't say it is, but even if it wos."
    • 1988, Zita Dresner, Redressing the balance, →ISBN, page 295:
      The Kettles recommended Peter Moses, a little, old, apple-cheeked man who "odd jobbed" and claimed to be the most patriotic man in the "Yewnited States of America.
    • 2012, Abigail R. Gehring, Odd Jobs: How to Have Fun and Make Money in a Bad Economy, →ISBN:
      Now, as I adjust to my first-ever nine-to-five office job (an experience not unlike culture shock, after years of “odd jobbing” to pay the rent), I find myself still answering calls to cater a wedding, henna tattoo adolescent girls at a bat mitzvah, or be a beer promo girl for a night.
    • 2017, Evelyn Guevara Lohmann, Spies-C.I.A-Lies-Terrorist-Che Guevara, →ISBN:
      They all odd jobbed in and around London, some were looking after children in Norway and other places or jobbed in restaurants, shops.

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