All in a Day's Work – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did your boss congratulate you on doing a good job? You could say, it’s 'all in a day's work,' to describe your nonchalant attitude to success. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression 'all in a day's work' means you complete a task that's part of your normal routine. It can refer to employment or assignments you do at home. 'All in a day's work' refers to tasks within your range of experience.

Using 'all in a day's work' is a way to exclaim satisfaction at your performance. It means that you don't require praise for doing something, as it's a standard procedure, and you're happy to deliver on expectations.

Example Usage

"Don't worry about it. It's all in a day's work. I'm not expecting any reward for doing my job. I'm just happy you think I'm performing to my capabilities."

"No problem, babe, it's all in a day's work. I'll finish clearing up later. I just want to relax for a minute and finish this glass of wine."

"We made it happen, even though they said we would never do it. It's all in a day's work. They don't know us very well."

"There's nothing better than sitting back and reviewing your work at the end of the day, only to realize it's all in a day's work."

"Building this cabin was challenging, but I got it done eventually. It's all in a day's work. It feels satisfying to step back and view my efforts come to fruition."

"There's no place I'd rather be than at my job, providing for my family. It's all in a day's work. I'm happy I can give my kids opportunity and keep my partner happy."

"I know you think it's all in a day's work, but there's much more to it. We have so much preparation to do beforehand that no one ever sees."


The expression 'all in a day's work' originates from the 18th century. Some language experts believe the phrase could have been used as early as the late 1700s. Naval officers would use the term to describe a day's work on the seas, with the earliest recording of the saying being in 1789.

In nautical terms, 'a day's work' referred to the reckoning of the ship's course 24 hours from noon to noon. Sailors would use the constellations, sun, and moon to keep the vessel en route to its destination.

The first use of the expression in print comes from 'Printed Ink,' published in 1926, where it appears as follows.

"For them, it was all in a day's work to run a regular passenger train from Chicago to Denver."

Phrases Similar to All in a Day's Work

  • Routine.
  • expected work.
  • normal routine.
  • usual work.

Phrases Opposite to All in a Day's Work

  • I did nothing today.
  • Don’t rely on me to do it.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • All in a day’s work.

Ways People May Say All in a Day's Work Incorrectly

The phrase 'all in a day's work' doesn't always have to refer to your day job or business tasks. It's a way of claiming satisfaction with your consistent efforts in life. Using the phrase to suggest you can complete a task in a single day is incorrect.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase All in a Day's Work

You can use the expression 'all in a day's work' to describe the results of your routine or job. It suits professional and social use. If your boss says 'good job,' you could reply with 'all in a day's work' to show them that you hold yourself to high standards and they can depend on you.

You can use it at home after your partner thanks you for setting up and cooking the barbeque for your afternoon lunch with friends. It's a versatile saying and suits all types of activities you perform regularly. The expression is suitable for text-based communications and verbal exchanges.

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