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Work in the black or on the black?

 

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not readily apparent based on the individual words in the expression. This forum is dedicated to discussing idioms and other sayings.


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  #1  
Old March 06, 2018, 04:33 PM
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Work in the black or on the black?

Why do people take the risk to work in the black or on the black?
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  #2  
Old March 06, 2018, 05:12 PM
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I'm unaware of anyone who says 'work in the black' or 'work on the black'.
I think the set phrase in Spanish means to work illegally (or at a job that isn't official), but it could be something else.

If the 'illegal' component isn't inferred, we say:
take a job on the side
burn the midnight oil
work for pocket change
have a second/night job
moonlight
supplement one's income (on the side, on the down low)

Last edited by Rusty; March 06, 2018 at 05:14 PM.
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Old March 06, 2018, 05:20 PM
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I swear I heard sb using that expression. And yes it means to work illegally.
Working on the side rings a bell too.
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Old March 06, 2018, 06:03 PM
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I don't know if it's a British expression and, if it is, how it's used.
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Old March 06, 2018, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
I'm unaware of anyone who says 'work in the black' or 'work on the black'.
I think the set phrase in Spanish means to work illegally (or at a job that isn't official), but it could be something else.

If the 'illegal' component isn't inferred, we say:
take a job on the side
burn the midnight oil
work for pocket change
have a second/night job
moonlight
supplement one's income (on the side, on the down low)
In Spanish trabajar en negro doesn't imply having other jobs like have a second job or moonlight
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Old March 06, 2018, 07:08 PM
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If it doesn't have the 'illegal' component, those are the phrases we use to describe working more than the norm. If the Spanish phrase means 'illegally working', we pretty much just say that (in AmE).
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Old March 06, 2018, 09:52 PM
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I think the common term is to work off the books.
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Old March 06, 2018, 10:05 PM
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'To work off the books' is self-employment, as I understand it, and can be illegal if taxes aren't withheld.

'To work off the clock' is time spent working for someone who doesn't pay you for that work. That's a crime (illegal).
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Old March 06, 2018, 10:32 PM
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If you're off the books (pagado en negro, that means you're being paid (under the table solapado) with no record, and nothing is reported. It's a common practice, and it's not legal. You'll see I right if you google the term.

The term paid and in the black means paid up and not owing anything. In the red means owing money.
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Old March 06, 2018, 10:55 PM
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We're saying the same thing. Getting paid under the table or off the books is illegal (because the government wants their cut, but there's no trail). A person who is working off the books could decide to pay taxes, and would have to file as self-employed to do so (and not divulge the source of the under-the-table money).
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