Terms of the Trade: What Is a Painters Holiday?

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A painters holiday isn't when they take a break from the work. It actually refers to a missed spot on a project when using a roller, which is detected when you can see the previous color coming through. The origin of this phrasing dates back to the 1700s when people would use pitch or tar to "paint" over the seams of a boat's hull. The task was so ardorous and unpleasant that to accidentally miss a spot was considered a "holiday."