sweat equity (1950)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Dec 9 15:42:49 UTC 2008

* sweat equity (OED2 1973, MWCD11 1966)

1950 _Hartford Courant_ 30 Apr. B1/3 Here in Connecticut, a number of
persons are putting up homes chiefly by their own "sweat equity."

The OED2 def is too restrictive: "an interest in a property earned by
a tenant who contributes his labour to its upkeep or renovation". That
was the original sense, but it's now often extended to work in return
for other types of ownership (e.g., ownership shares of a company), or
more generally to hard work in the service of a particular goal.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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