Originally used with reference to miners i.e those who remove coal from the 'face' of the mine, its now more commonly used to mean any work closest to the frontline
Managers have no idea how hard it is for a sparky
these days because they never have to work at the coal face.
I love pulling apart engines. Its great to get my hands dirty at the coal face.
When working in an office where there is a pecking order,the person with their finger on the pulse or more hands on than other workers is considered to be "working on the coalface"as opposed to others who are just drones as it were.
He doesnt know what he is talking about,hes not working on the coalface
Derogatory term used for a Nigger
, because coal is black, and niggers are black, so they have coal-faces.
Yo nigGa, u luk likes uve come from the mines, u coal-faced black bastard
n. a person of african or african american descent.