Elbow grease is an idiom for working hard at manual labour, as in "You need to use some elbow grease." It is a humorous reflection of the fact that some tasks can only be achieved by hard effort and human energy, contrasting with the idea that there should be some special oil, tool or chemical product to make the job easier.
Edit: Castille360's explanation is better.
when i saw the english translation "elbow grease" it didn't mean nothnig to me...
In my opinion "getting hands dirty" is more widely used and for me it seems similar
Yes, for me too that sentence mean nothing, and in russian we said "getting hands dirty" too or "need to sweat", I think it is more simple for the mind.
to be frank with you all saying sentences like "I know but we don't say that in our language" or "we don't say that in some other language" is quite pointless. This is not Russian, or German, or any other language. This is Italian.
This is not about pointlessness of comments. It's very interesting how much different expressions in different countries, an understanding of this difference is helping to understand more another culture and history, construction of language, people humor and so on. Don't you agree?
Guys, this course assumes you already know English. Knowing English means knowing its idioms.
That's right, when I think on hard work, I just going back to bed and forget about this thoughts. XD Lazy culture. But more seriously in hebrew there are three common phrase to say one's working hard, the first probably has translate from english which 1. is roll the sleeves up. the second is sweat like a donkey ( donkey considered insult in hebrew and also has ancient meaning in term of working) and the thirt is to 3. tear the (Censured). So yeah, it's really interesting.
In Denmark we use "knofedt" which means "knuckle grease" - and as others have said: of course it means hard work, but there is also some humor in it like: "Oh, what is the secret of getting that thing to shine like that?!" "Woo hoo just a little bit of magic and a lot of knuckle grease!!"
Not in Portuguese, and I suppose not also in Spanish. It would sound as some natural skin oil, on the skin, not inside the elbow's mechanism.
"elbow grease" indica mais especificamente que é um trabalho repetitivo. "No braço" quer dizer apenas que é manual, mas é mais genérico. Alguém deu um bom exemplo ali embaixo, encerar o chão, porque é uma atividade repetitiva. Não acho que tenha um equivalente exato em português.
Acho que essa expressão pelo que entendi diz que esse olio di gomito seria mais a #solução do trabalho repetitivo# do que o trabalho repetitivo em si.
Também não consigo imaginar. Temos verbos e expressões para esforço (ralar, suar, dar o sangue), mas não com a conotação de esforço físico repetitivo.
probably because it's translated from English! I've never heard of this idiom before...
For example - If I buff my wood floors until they shine, what did I use to get them to shine so well? Elbow grease. (My own physical effort.) While it comes from tasks that would involve repetitive arm movements like that, it may be used in situation that involves human exertion to get something done. "We can get this job done in no time with enough elbow grease!"
You grease joints, and moving parts (and doors gates etc) that you need to work well and efficiently--otherwise the seize up. Elbow grease means you are working as hard (efficiently) as you are able
Just to let you know, it's a very well used term that basically means "put some more effort into it" or " try a little harder." For instance, if I was scrubbing the bathtub with all the chemicals I could find and it still wasn't working, I would use a little 'elbow grease' (aka scrub harder) to get it clean. It's not literal grease. :)
Algo similar en español podría ser "con el sudor de mi frente" literally translated in english would mean: with my own forehead sweat.
The English idiom most like "el sudor de mi frente" would be "by the sweat of my brow." But I don't hear this actually used in English much, not as much as "elbow grease."
It's true, but Duolingo segnala nelle frasi idiomatiche inglesi ( forse più americane) il termine "elbow grease" = olio di gomito.
In German we also have similar saying: im Schweiße meines Angesichts. Literally: in sweat my face“--funny. This is why one-to-one translation doesn't work.
Is this actually an Italian idiom, or is it just an English idiom translated into Italian?
Two or three brawny Fellows in a Corner, with meer Ink and Elbow-grease, do more Harm than an Hundred systematical Divines with their sweaty Preaching.
This is from 1672..... it wasn't recorded in french till the late 1800s'. I can't find an Italian version that is earlier!
literally translated this means oil of the elbow - so why mark it wrong when there has been no explanation of common idioms etc!
Likely because you're taking this course in English, so it's assumed (apparently incorrectly) that you're familiar with English idioms.
Well this is an (optional) section entirely on idioms... if you're not familiar with english idioms, it's bound to be very hard.
It's a concept that has been used before. For example, cheese sandwich= panino al/con formaggio. formaggio is used as an adjective. In english it is used before the noun, in italian after the noun. In this case, gomito is used as an adjective describing the type of grease, meaning that it is used after the noun, olio. And in english before the noun, therefore, elbow grease.
It usually accepts literal translations for these idioms, at least for the other languages that I've tried.
I found it here - which seems to confirm that it is an Italian idiom... http://dizionari.corriere.it/dizionario-modi-di-dire/O/olio.shtml
In Finnish we say "roll up your sleeves". That is a straight translation in English.
Has this made anyone think about an episode in Rick and Morty season three where Beth says "you're supposed to put elbow grease into your daughter Rick"
It literally means "of", so it would be "grease of elbow" would be the literal translation. "Di" gives the origin of said object.
If you suggest "grease" as a correct solution, you should include this word as part of the list of possible translation when hovering over "olio."
No. Because the hover things are not question specific, and therefore are not always good for idioms. The english idiom is Elbow grease, the Italian idiom is oil of the elbow, it does not therefore follow that duolingo associated the word 'olio' with the word 'grease'. Unless you're unlucky this is the idiom topic, and you can't do word for word translations of idioms.
I found the definition of the word 'grease' to be 'any oily or fatty matter'. So, since oil is, by definition, oily it must therefore also be grease. In other words, oil and grease must be synonymous so 'olio' can be translated to 'grease'.
In other words - yep, that seems about right.
Grease is thick, like a paste. An oil that is so thick that it will not pour is called grease. If the oil is thin enough to pour, then it's just called oil. "Elbow grease" is an idiom, it simply is never expressed as "elbow oil".
Is this an idiom that is used in Italy or did I just add a lesson on American idioms translated literally into Italian?
Does anyone know how this idiom is said in Russian language? Thanks in advance.
I do not know the Russian for "elbow crease" but for the other idiom discussed here - "by the sweat of his brow", French "à la sueur de son front", the Russian version would be "в поте лица своего". Estonian also has the same expression (i.e. with "sweat" and "face" involved. "Elbow grease" seems to be more of a rarity, Estonian has an obsolete idiom literally "with the steam of one's bones" for going somewhere by foot for want of a vehicle (such as a steam-engine).
I think it should be "тяжкий труд", the closest to idiom structure i can think about
just how many times do I need to repeat it before I can finally get past it, it keeps saying I'm doing it wrong.
Is there anyone from holland who can help me out with a translation (as I don't know if there is any similar expression in my language)? Thanks!
This is the sixth time spending for elbow grease. I was hoping to learn more idioms than a mere handful.
In caserma: il sergente: "lucida quella baionetta soldato!" il soldato: "come faccio? È arrugginita!" il sergente: "usa olio di gomito, ragazzo!" Can you translate it in English?
How's this? "Shine that bayonet soldier! The soldier: "How do I do it? It's rusted!" The sargeant: "Use elbow grease, boy!" Did I get it right! :)
I said "Elbow Grease" because it made more sense to me. But would "Grease from Elbow" work? Just curious
Could someone please make a sentence with “olio di gomito“? I have no clue what so ever how to use this idiom. Thank you!
Ive heard the expression.....but whats the actual translation for "grease"? The phrase uses the word gor oil, for some reason....
Grease is a lubricant, not quite a liquid, think a bit like lard or similar. Since both oil and grease are used to lubricate things I think that's where the match is. The literal translation of grease into Italian is 'grosso' or 'lubrificante' but you can't always translate idioms literally.
Grease or lubricant of some sort can be used when you want to reduce friction and say, push a heavy object. Here the 'oil of elbow' is basically saying 'use effort as your way to get it moving'
I got that right by elimination. Honest answer. That was a odd phrase.
In english translation 'hard work' should be correct then. Why does is expect a translatio which does not mean in english
But it does have meaning in English. In fact, just last night I saw the expression used in the December issue of Consumers Report, (a national magazine with a circulation in the millions.) In discussing a certain product, it said you have to put put a lot of elbow grease into it. It means hard physical work. This is a very well known and much used idiom in the US. I don't know about other parts of the English speaking world. Since this is a lesson on idioms, I was quite pleased to find out that Italian has the same idiom as English. Since English is not your native language, I realize that it makes it a little harder for you, but on the bright side, you got twice as much for the money, as you just learned one idiom that's good for two different languages.
I think the best translation to portuguese is " suar a camisa" that, in a raw translation to english, would be " get your t-shirt sweated"
There is a similar idiom in Turkish to rot the elbow "dirsek çürütmek" means working hard
There is a similar idiom in Turkish but it means studying hard than working
In Brazilian Portuguese we have "arregaçar as mangas" meaning literally "roll up the sleeves" our version of elbow sweat lol
Dunno what use it has to just repeat idioms that would no way make a sense to you unless looked them up on net. Meaningless and just waste of money.
I really don't understand why doulingo can't add an hint to help us understand the meaning of this phrase.
yeah but the translation should be the equivalent in english right, the literal translation may be pointless