Definitions

Elbow grease

Elbow grease

Elbow grease is an old term for working hard at manual labour or trades, as in "put some elbow grease into that".

It has also been used as a practical joke by master tradesperson on apprentices, e.g. "Go fetch some elbow grease from him". Each tradesperson will say someone else has the elbow grease and send the unwitting apprentice on to another master tradesperson. The snipe hunt will continue until the apprentice gives up, catches on or runs out of people/places to search.

Appearances in popular media

  • The prank was used in the popular web series Red vs. Blue where two of the Red soldiers tell their new recruit to go fetch "Elbow grease and headlight fluid" from the store. Their prank backfires when the recruit instead gets the other team's flag, mistaking the other base for the store.

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