Elbow grease

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Elbow grease or literally Elbow oil in French is an idiom for working hard at manual labour. It is a figure of speech for humorously indicating nothing else but manual work is required.

It is sometimes reported in the form of a snipe hunt, a prank where an apprentice or recruit is sent on an errand to retrieve "elbow grease" by their supervisor.

In popular culture[edit]

  • GMC's advertisement for their heavy duty vans and trucks shows a few men failing to move a small boulder. Frustrated and defeated, at once a GMC van backs onto the scene with the surprise of the men upon discovering several large barrels of elbow grease in the rear of the van.
  • In the role playing video game Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the blacksmith Sunshine from the town of Yallam reforges rusted items, boasting that "a little elbow grease" will make them shine.

See also[edit]