from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Slang Hard physical labor.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. hard menial routine work.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. hard monotonous routine work
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Such donkeywork proved so tiring to East German spymaster Markus Wolf that he told one of his American moles to slow down, my Washington Post colleague Peter Finn recalled for me today:
After first demonstrating their skills doing some donkeywork, players are quickly lured to escort and combat missions.
"But such is the game, South Africa put on some good partnerships and, playing four bowlers, I have to do my share of the donkeywork."
Arranging a bouquet she’d bought at the farmer’s market that was held on the town green every Saturday, straightening the haphazard stack of cookbooks that had collected in the beach house over the years including one that had to have been a gift to her Uncle Freddie and featured only recipes with beer, even the donkeywork of polishing the silver was satisfying.
Oh, and the donkeywork is done by ones PhD student who is now to busy to archive, and one obviously wouldn’t stoop to that sort of thing oneself.