"No coffee, no workee” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many gift items, such as coffee mugs, T-shirts and bumper stickers. “No tickee, no shirtee/washee” is the classic and much-imitated Chinese laundry saying that dates to the 19th century; the saying and its variations are often regarded as a Chinese slur.
“No coffee, no workee” has been cited in print since at least 1901, 1944 and 1975.
24 January 1901, Massillon (OH) Independent, “Near By Towns,” pg. 5, col. 3:
The last time they gave five reasons for not going to work until food was forthcoming, namely: no bready, no meaty, no sugar, no coffee, no workee.
18 April 1944, The Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS), pg. 4, col. 1:
NO COFFEE—NO WORKEE
The refusal of the Bethlehem Steel Works management in New Jersey to allow “coffee carriers” to take coffee to the workers in their extra or overtime period from 4:40 to six, when another shift came on, caused 3100 men to walk out.
4 September 1975, The Evening Times (Trenton, NJ), “Fuessel’s biggest job,” pg. 3, col. 3:
“One company pulled out in the morning when they couldn’t get any coffee, he says, declining to name the fire company. “I guess it was a case of no coffee, no workee...” he says, his voice trailing into the laughter of some of the men around him.
Google Groups: alt.underground
** no coffee no workee**
Just saw a great bumper sticker: “No coffee, no workee”. No kidding. I hope everybodys Friday is as good as I hope mine is. Lol.
6:52 AM - 4 May 2007
1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You:
The Ultimate Bathroom Reader
By Cary McNeal
Avon, MA: Adams Media
Related fact: Three of five office coffee mugs feature sayings that are meant to befunny but aren’t, like “Bean me up, Scotty”and “No coffee, no workee.”
A Key West Novel
By Wesley Sizemore
Minneapolis, MN: Two Harbors Press
Instead of showing up on our jobsites thenext morning, we protested back in forth in front of the laundromat with signs saying: “NO COFFEE, NO WORKEE” and: “NO FUEL, NO ROCKETS.”