slack

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slack-jawed

1. With one's mouth hanging open, as due to surprise or dim-wittedness. I had to clear away the people who were standing slack-jawed on the side of the road, staring at the car wreck.
2. Moronic; very slow or dim-witted. I tried asking for directions at the gas station, but there was just some slack-jawed yokel working behind the counter.

cut (one) some slack

To allow one more latitude or freedom than usual. Oh, you know I never make requests like this, cut me some slack. A: "I can't believe she talked to me like that!" B: "You need to cut her some slack—she's grieving right now."
See also: cut, slack

pick up the slack

To do an extra amount of work that someone else is unable or unwilling to do. I'm going to need you to pick up the slack around the house when the baby arrives, because I'm going to literally have my hands full. The fourth member of our team has been totally unreliable, so the rest of us have had to pick up the slack.
See also: pick, slack, up

take up the slack

To do an extra amount of work that someone else is unable or unwilling to do. I'm going to need you to take up the slack around the house when the baby arrives, because I'm going to literally have my hands full. The fourth member of our team has been totally unreliable, so the rest of us have had to take up the slack.
See also: slack, take, up

cut someone a break

 and cut someone some slack
Sl., to give someone a break; to allow someone a reprieve from the consequences of an action. Come on, cut me a break! I'm a good guy! I was only a few minutes late! Cut me a break! Don't dock my pay! Cut me some slack and I'll be sure to pay you all I owe in a month.
See also: break, cut

slack off

 
1. to taper off; to reduce gradually. Business tends to slack off during the winter months. The storms begin to slack off in April.
2. [for someone] to become lazy or inefficient. Near the end of the school year, Sally began to slack off, and her grades showed it. John got fired for slacking off during the busy season.
See also: off, slack

slack up (on something)

 and slack off (on something)
to release the pressure or tension on something. Slack up on the rope a bit, will you? Please slack off!
See also: slack, up

take the slack up

 
1. Lit. to tighten a rope that is holding something loosely. Take the slack up if you can. This clothesline is too loose. Do something to take up the slack.
2. Fig. to do what needs to be done; to do what has been left undone. Do I have to take the slack up? Jill did her job poorly and I have to take up the slack.
See also: slack, take, up

slack off

Decrease in activity or intensity, as in If business ever slacks off we can go on vacation, or When the project fell behind schedule again, she thought we were slacking off. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: off, slack

cut someone some slack

INFORMAL
If you cut someone some slack, you are less critical of their behaviour or performance than usual because you know they are in a difficult situation. When you're new at a job, colleagues and bosses cut you some slack. They forgive minor mistakes because you're new. Note: This expression is variable. Instead of some, people sometimes use words such as a little or a lot of. She's still upset about her dad. Cut her a little slack.
See also: cut, slack

take up the slack

or

pick up the slack

INFORMAL
COMMON If someone or something takes up the slack or picks up the slack, they reduce the bad effect of something by providing something extra. With the export market in decline, it is hoped that the tourist trade will take up the slack. We have three members of staff absent and no one to pick up the slack. Note: If you take up the slack in a rope, you tighten it.
See also: slack, take, up

slack off

v.
1. To decrease in activity or intensity: Tourism on Cape Cod usually slacks off around September.
2. To evade work; shirk: High school seniors tend to slack off once they get accepted to college.
See also: off, slack

cut someone a break

and cut someone some slack
tv. to give someone a break; to allow someone a reprieve from the consequences of an action. Come on! Cut me a break! I won’t do it again! Cut me some slack and I’ll be sure to pay you all I owe in a month.
See also: break, cut

cut someone some slack

verb
See also: cut, slack
References in periodicals archive ?
Danes Herfolge await in a vital Champions League third qualifying round first leg tie on Wednesday night and Advocaat was in no mood for slackness.
The officers whosoever will show slackness and fail to perform their duties befittingly will also be taken to task.
ISLAMABAD -- Extension project of Parliament Lodges is undergoing at snail's pace due to slackness of the construction firm and officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Arsenal were 2-0 down to Liege after five minutes in the Group H game in Belgium but there was no such slackness last night.
Albion restored parity six minutes after half-time when slackness in the Cowdenbeath defence allowed Stephen Donachy to net from 15 yards.
All this shows a slackness and incompetence of which I became a scapegoat.
Three minutes later Stanley were 2-0 up as defensive slackness allowed Jonathan Smith an easy tap-in.
Amoruso was booed and jeered during Saturday win against Dundee United after his slackness cost Rangers the opening goal.
During the Monday meeting of standing committee convened by Senator Shahi Syed, state minister for Housing ministry, Usman Ibrahim termed this slackness of Housing ministry as sheer mismanagement, warning that such an incidence should not occur again.
RAWALPINDI -- The weekly Sunday Bazaar at Committee Chowk has lost its utility as it failed to provide the citizens with items of daily use on controlled rates due to slackness of the administration.
We showed a bit of slackness near the end to let them score twice but we're back in with a chance of the play-offs.
Albion restored parity six minutes after half-time when slackness in the home defence allowed Stephen Donachy to net from 15 yards.
Our play down the flanks was pathetic and, having given Solano away for peanuts, we cannot afford slackness from Robert.
And he said: "I'm not going to put up with the players' slackness any longer.
The learned judge remarked " now no more slackness will be allowed.