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I LIke Work

I LIke Work Humorous Button Museum
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I LIke Work button back Humorous Button Museum
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Illustration of a person laying on the ground under a tree with yellow text on a red background

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In 1889, Jerome K. Jerome, an English writer, published a funny travelogue called Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) featuring characters based on himself and two friends. It depicted a fictional two-week boating vacation along the Thames River round-trip between Kingston and Oxford with Jerome's (fictional) dog, Montmorency. This book was so popular it inspired several theatrical and film adaptations, various retellings in print, and art. Jerome created a sequel, Three Men on a Bummel (1900), known as Three Men on Wheels, about cycling in Germany. 

Jerome (1889) wrote, “I like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.” This quote turned into an Australian catch phrase beginning in 1950. It was shortened to “I like work: I can watch it all day” (Partridge, 2003, p. 217). This saying was extremely popular during the 1970s and 1980s. It became a part of British and American jargon, as well.


Partridge, E. (2003). A dictionary of catch phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Ukraine: Taylor & Francis.

Popik, B. (2016, September 16). "I love hard work. I could watch it all day".

Three Men in a Boat. (2021, April 22). In Wikipedia.

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