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A Bit of Elbow Grease - Idiom

Video Overview

The idiom 'a bit of elbow grease' means there is no substitute for hard work in getting something cleaned. This video explains the meaning and use of the idiom 'a bit of elbow grease.' in English. We explain how to use it with some easy examples to help you learn this idiom so you can use it in spoken and Business English.

Video Analysis

This idiom was originally used to refer to energetic physical labour, especially involving rubbing or polishing, and also as a humorous way of saying that there is no substitute for hard work in getting something cleaned. However, its use has since extended to refer to any type of hard work or effort. For example, in a professional context, it may take 'quite a bit of elbow grease' to get a task completed, or a deal over the line. A phrase that shares a similar meaning is 'blood, sweat, and tears.'


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