elbow grease

This page is about the idiom 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

a. clean a hospital ward

b. teach an English class

c. come up with a good plan

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey