from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In mining, a system of working the thick beds of clay ironstone by first working out the bottom beds, and then the higher ones, the miners standing on the fallen debris. It is much like the bell-work of Derbyshire.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"You may be as earnest as a friar in the pulpit, and yet pretty bad at chimney-work, young master.