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elbow grease

Meaning: If something needs elbow grease, it needs a lot of hard physical work.

For example:

  • We'll need a bit more elbow grease to get these walls really clean.

  • The secret of a really shiny car is turtle wax and elbow grease.

Quick Quiz:

It takes a lot of elbow grease to
  1. clean a hospital ward
  2. teach an English class
  3. come up with a good plan

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