work away

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anangelaway

Senior Member
French
Good morning/evening, :)

Would you please help me to solve the mystery?

Work away seems to have several meanings, but I would like to find out if precisely work away has also a meaning which shows agreement to a request, for example:
They are the same thing a very informal way of saying go ahead, of course, if you wish..

excuse me may i look at that necklace?

fire away/work away

may i take this power sander?
fire away/work away
More context.

The thread opener had a clear understanding of the expression but ....
Is it regional, or perhaps something quite recent used by the young generation and not yet in dictionaries? Only used in Ireland?

Thanks a lot.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I've never heard "work away" used to mean "fire away". To my knowledge, "work away" means one of two things:

    "I work away during the week and am home on weekends" and
    "I work away at my homework but I never seem to get better grades"
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've heard fire away to mean go on, say what you want to say. But for looking at a necklace I expect rather:

    Go ahead
    Here you are
    Off you go
    It's all yours (this is not suggesting transfer of ownership)
    Don't hesitate

    I wouldn't expect fire away, or work away.

    Note that the original poster (in the thread cited as context) is Irish. That may make a difference.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    "Work away" could be used as suggested in that text, but it would not be considered a set phrase or saying, unlike "fire away." In addition, "fire away" is used figuratively, while "work away" would likely only makes sense literally.

    "Fire away" could be used in the following example:

    A: "Can I ask you a few questions?"
    B: "Fire away."
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "Work away" could be used as suggested in that text, but it would not be considered a set phrase or saying, unlike "fire away." In addition, "fire away" is used figuratively, while "work away" would likely only makes sense literally.

    "Fire away" could be used in the following example:

    A: "Can I ask you a few questions?"
    B: "Fire away."
    We could say that in BE too, in response to that question, Bibliolept.

    In AE, could you say Fire away in response to Excuse me may I look at that necklace, please? I think it would be unusual in BE.
     

    Seeker89

    Member
    United States
    "Work away" could be used as suggested in that text, but it would not be considered a set phrase or saying, unlike "fire away." In addition, "fire away" is used figuratively, while "work away" would likely only makes sense literally.
    This is true, and it might make sense in the example of: "may i take this power sander?" "work away," only because taking a power sander is presumably in order to do work, so the second person is saying, "Sure, go ahead and work with these tools as much as you want"
     

    anangelaway

    Senior Member
    French
    Thank you all for your input. According to your answers, you woudn't use in that particular context, either work away or fire away if I followed you.

    Thomas Tompion said:
    Note that the original poster (in the thread cited as context) is Irish. That may make a difference.
    This is what I'm trying to figure out since it seemed so natural to curly to use either one in that context.

    Once again thank you. :)
     

    dalester

    New Member
    Irish and English
    as an irishman i would use the terms work away and fire away quite regularly, but not in a formal sense. E.G. if a friend asked for a drink out of my bottle i would say work away or fire away and probably in the examples you've outlined, however it's less likely to be used in England and even less so in America
     

    Moglet

    Senior Member
    UK
    British/Hiberno-English
    As another Paddy, like Dalester I regularly use both 'work away' and 'fire away' as part of everyday speech.

    'Work away' is very much an IE expression; an informal way of saying "carry on" or "go ahead."
     
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