Why Is It Called Graveyard Shift?

Most people have heard of the graveyard shift, but few know how it got such a dramatic and spooky name. Working the graveyard shift has become a way of life for millions of people, who take on this unusual working schedule so they can pursue their dreams and make ends meet. Why is the graveyard shift called that, and what implications does this have for those who work this unique schedule?

In this article, we’ll explore the origin of the graveyard shift and its implications for those who work it. Ready to get started?

Let’s dive into the history and modern-day reality of the graveyard shift!

Why is it called graveyard shift?

Working late hours in the night is often referred to as the ‘graveyard shift’ and has been used in discussion for many years. But why is it called the graveyard shift?

This term is said to have been first used in the late 1800s in the United States to refer to a shift working between the hours of 12am – 8am. This shift was not a particularly popular one by the miners so was compared to graveyard work as the miners knew they had no chance of returning home alive if they were to take this shift.

The slowest shift

It was soon also referred to as the ‘night shift’ and as the hours were very unpopular and there wasn’t much business to be done during these overnight hours, many businesses knew that they wouldn’t make much money during this time. It was one of the slowest shifts of the day and it was often the last option for workers to choose when looking for a job. This further gave rise to the term graveyard shift as businesses saw their profits in a very slow state.

The night owls

Over the years, as businesses began to move their open hours to include 24-hour days, the graveyard shift also started to become popular. With more business to be done and more job openings, the night shift started to become more popular with those who enjoyed being up during the night, who synchronised with the night flow and of course those who simply couldn’t find any other opening.


This term has been around since the 1800s and is thought to have originated with miners in the US, who knew they wouldn’t make it back home alive if they worked this shift. Over the years the graveyard shift has attracted more late night workers and with more business to be done, this shift is becoming more popular. Citation URL: http://www.

phrases. org.

uk/meanings/graveyard-shift. html https://www. express. co. uk/life-style/life/227454/What-is-the-Graveyard-Shift-and-how-did-it-get-its-name

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