: British - day off, vacation
A busman's holiday
is a vacation
spent doing the same thing you do at work. For example, many E2 noder
s may have spent a day off from the tech support
farm fixing a friend's computer.
The origins of the phrase are unclear. The most prosaic
hypothesis is that a busman spends all day on a bus, and then when she decides to take a day off and enjoy the countryside
-- has to get back on a bus.
Another explanation purported
ly dates back to the 1800s, when buses were horse-drawn carriage
s. The drivers were said to be so dedicated
that when they had a day off, they'd ride as passengers on their route to make sure that the substitute
wasn't abusing their animals or hassling their riders.
A third story suggests that the phrase actually descends from the archaic slang buzz
, to pickpocket
. A buzzman
always had her eyes open for a likely mark
, and so was at work even when on holiday.