a <holdover> from when...

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JuriTerreni

Senior Member
Chinese-China
From TV series<Casual>,
It's 11:30, and Alex is supposed to come to work at 9:00. His boss is asking him. He says:
Maybe I don't like coming in at 9:00, okay? Maybe I think it's a holdover from when children worked 16 hours a day at the smelting mill.

I don't really understand what he means.
Thank you.
 
  • JuriTerreni

    Senior Member
    Chinese-China
    Does he mean that when children worked 16 hours a day at the smelting mill, they had to start to work at 9?
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    A "holdover" is something -- a thing, a practice, a belief, a system, etc. -- from a previous time which is retained in the present. The sense is usually negative, i.e., that there was no reason for it to be retained or that it should not have been retained.

    I'm sure there are sites where you can read a lot more about historical child labor practices, but I can assure you that they would have started long before 9 AM. It's a joke.
     
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