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beat in time

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beat in time v phr Midl Cf beat time v phr

To waste time, idle on the job.
1909 Jrl.–Advance (Gentry AR) 26 Feb [2]/1 (newspaperarchive.com), If the important matters were disposed of first instead of beating in time on local and freak bills, . . there would be no need of extended sessions. 1923 Portsmouth Daily Times (OH) 30 Oct 8/2, [Letter:] You are absolutely wrong and at no time when I was on duty were there ever three men sitting on curbing beating in time. 1949 Kingsport Times (TN) 1 Apr 4/3, [Letter:] Now he thinks nothing of beating in time on the company, but would be ready to fight if his pay check is short thirty cents. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. A10, . . Doing little unimportant things: somebody asks, “What are you doing?” And you answer, “Nothing in particular—I’m just _____.”) Infs IL113, 134, Beating in time; (Qu. Y29b, About a man who doesn’t stay home much: “He’s always _____.”) Inf VA5, Beating in time; (Qu. KK31, To go about aimlessly looking for distractions: “He doesn’t have anything to do, so he’s just _____.”) Infs IL126, 136, KY47, Beating in time. 1977 Charleston Gaz. (WV) 11 Feb sec A 5/2, [Letter:] He sees the [snow-plow] trucks either parked with the motor running beating in time or just running up and down Route 60, doing nothing. 1983 Eve. Rev. (E. Liverpool OH) 20 May 8/4 WV, These nonathletic students may be there dodging the military draft, living it up socially, or just beating in time. 2005 in 2015 DARE File—Internet neMD, As a member of “management” where I work, I do see my share of guys just beating in time for a paycheck. 2013 Ibid neKY, You’re just beating in time on Topix until your next unemployment check gets here so you can pay the satellite bill and get another cheap case of beer.
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