The “roll up your sleeves” idiom means to prepare for hard work, especially physical work. It comes from the literal action of rolling up one’s sleeves before doing something dirty or messy, such as cleaning, gardening, or repairing. The idiom can also be used figuratively to express readiness and willingness to tackle a difficult or challenging task, such as studying, solving a problem, or leading a project.
Usage With Examples
The “roll up your sleeves” idiom came into use in the mid-1800s, implying that one is ready and willing to get one’s hands dirty, in this case, figuratively, with honest labor. Some examples of using this idiom in a sentence correctly are as follows:
- We have a lot of work to do today, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get started.
- She rolled up her sleeves and helped the team finish the report on time.
- He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty.
Also Read: 500+ Most Commonly Used Idioms in English
Synonyms and Similar Phrases
The “roll up your sleeves” idiom shares its meaning with several other words and phrases in English. Some of them are as follows:
- Belly up to the bar
- Get down to brass tacks
- Get one’s act together
- Pull one’s socks up
- Shape up
- Get your ducks in a row
- Put your shoulder to the wheel
- Take the plunge
- Get cracking
- Get the ball rolling
- Get your hands dirty
Roll Up Your Sleeves Idiom Quiz
Which of the following sentences uses the “roll up your sleeves” idiom correctly?
A) She rolled up her sleeves and went to bed early.
B) He rolled up his sleeves and gave a speech to the crowd.
C) They rolled up their sleeves and helped their neighbours clean up after the storm.
D) We rolled up our sleeves and watched a movie on the couch.
The correct answer is C.
We hope that this blog helped you understand the meaning of “roll up your sleeves” idiom, including its origin, usage, and synonyms. To learn more idioms like this, keep following Leverage Edu. Happy Learning!