eager to work, earnest or intent on work, industrious, energetic ...1647 Eng. & Amer. dial. rare
either from work (n.) or work (vb.) + a second element of uncertain identity (possibly brittle adj.)
FIRST DOCUMENTED USE
1647 - see EXAMPLE below
"...She laieth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff Prov. 31.19. But why this? And what need she be so work brittle, being a Queen?..."
From: A Commentary or Exposition upon all the Epistles and the Revelation of John the Divine
- John Trapp