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quick on the uptake

Meaning: If you are quick on the uptake, you're smart and you can understand things quickly.

For example:

  • Jamal's really quick on the uptake when you explain something to him, so his problem with school grades has nothing to do with any lack of intelligence. He's a very smart boy.

  • These kids who are into rap music are really quick on the uptake, and they can easily catch the meaning of each other's rhymes. But I can't understand any of it.

Note: The opposite is "slow on the uptake", which means to be slow to learn something or to catch someone's meaning.

Quick Quiz:

Bobby sure is quick on the uptake. I was showing him how to use some software and he
  1. quickly picked it up and took off
  2. soon got tired of learning how to use it
  3. soon understood how it worked

Discuss: quick on the uptake

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