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(as) slow as molasses
Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all. This old laptop my dad gave me is a piece of junk. It's as slow as molasses! Come on, Becky, you're slow as molasses back there! Pick up the pace and keep up with the group.
Someone who moves or does things in a particularly slow or sluggish manner; someone who is or has been dawdling. We're never going to finish our project by the deadline with this slowpoke weighing us down! Hurry up, slowpoke! We're not going to wait all day for you to catch up with us.
1. A slow but steady progession toward a particular end. We know now that Gladys has been on a slow march toward death—her condition is terminal. I'm afraid that, without any changes, the company is on a slow march toward bankruptcy.
2. A slower-paced, rhythmic piece of music originally used to accompany marching soldiers. We're rehearsing a slow march for the concert on Sunday.
be slow off the mark
To be slow to react or take action. He's too slow off the mark to be an effective emergency responder. You were a little slow off the mark on your last line. Come in a little bit sooner next time.
be (a little) slow on the uptake
To struggle to understand something. This phrase is often used as a euphemism for stupidity. Joe's a nice kid, but tutoring him is a challenge because he's a little slow on the uptake, you know? That group is slow on the uptake, so I don't know if they'll ever understand how to use this fancy new printer.
(as) slow as molasses in January
Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all. (The addition of "January," which is among the coldest months in the Northern Hemisphere, serves to intensify the meaning, as molasses is especially viscous in the cold. This old laptop my dad gave me takes forever booting up, and then it's as slow as molasses in January the whole time I use it! Come on, Becky, you're slow as molasses in January back there! Pick up the pace and keep up with the group.
slow but sure
Slow or incrememental but yielding steady, dependable progress. It's going to be slow but sure writing my thesis, as I have to balance my part-time job with my research. A: "Hey, how's the new novel coming along?" B: "It's been slow but sure."
slow and steady wins the race
Prov. If you work slowly but constantly, you will succeed better than if you work fast for a short while and do not continue. (Associated with Aesop's fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare.") Joy only had a little bit of time to spend sewing every day, but she worked steadily and soon had finished a beautiful quilt. Slow and steady wins the race.
*slow as molasses in Januaryand slower than molasses in January
very slow-moving. (*Also: as ~.) Can't you get dressed any faster? I declare, you're as slow as molasses in January. The traffic on the way to the concert was slower than molasses in January.
slow but sureand slowly but surely
slow but unstoppable. Bob's progress on his novel was slow but sure. Nancy is finishing the paint job on her house, slowly but surely.
to decrease speed; to go slower. Please slow down. You are going too fast.
the rate of speed when one is making slow progress. It was slow going at first, but I was able to finish the project by the weekend. Getting the heavy rocks out of the field is slow going.
slow off the mark
1. Lit. slow in starting or reacting. (Compare this with quick off the mark.) If you are always that slow off the mark you will never win the race. Boy, you were slow off the mark there!
2. Fig. slow-witted. The guy's slow off the mark but very friendly. Yes, I'm afraid Tony is a bit slow off the mark when it comes to trigonometry.
slow on the draw
1. Lit. slow in drawing a gun. (Cowboy and gangster talk.) Bill got shot because he's so slow on the draw. The gunslinger said, "I have to be fast. If I'm slow on the draw, I'm dead."
2. and slow on the uptake Fig. slow to figure something out; slow-thinking. Sally didn't get the joke because she's sort of slow on the draw. Bill—who's slow on the uptake—didn't get the joke until it was explained to him.
slow someone or something upand slow someone or something down
to cause someone or something to reduce speed. I'm in a hurry. Don't try to slow me down. Please slow up the train. There are sheep near the track.
a person who is slow to learn things. (Compare this to a slow study.) Fred, who is a slow study, never caught on to the joke.
to go slower; to reduce speed in order for someone or something to catch up. slow up a little! I can't keep up with you! Please slow up. I can't follow your lecture when you talk so fast.
take it slow
to go slowly and carefully. Just relax and take it slow. You've got a good chance. You'll make it. Take it slow and keep your spirits up.
slow on the uptake
not able to understand something quickly I tried to explain how the new software works to my manager, but he's a little slow on the uptake.
Usage notes: also used in the form quick on the uptake (able to understand something quickly): He was quick on the uptake and able to realize right away what was wrong.
be slow off the mark
to be slow to act or to react to an event or situation The federal government was criticized for being slow off the mark in helping towns hit by the recent hurricane.
be slow on the uptake
to be slow to understand new ideas I tried to explain the new database, but they were remarkably slow on the uptake.
do a slow burn(American & Australian informal)
to have a feeling of anger that gradually increases As he heard more about the plan to develop the area for industrial use he started doing a slow burn.
on the uptake
In understanding or comprehension. This term is most often put as quick on the uptake, for readily understanding something, and slow on the uptake, for being slow to comprehend. For example, Shirley will have no trouble learning that new computer program-she's very quick on the uptake . It alludes to absorbing ("taking up") information. [Early 1800s]
Slowly increasing anger. It is often put as do a slow burn, meaning "gradually grow angrier," as in I did a slow burn when he kept me waiting for three hours. The burn in this idiom comes from burn up in the sense of "make furious." The term was first cited in 1938 and was closely associated with comedian Edgar Kennedy.
slow but sure
Gradual or plodding but certain to finish, as in Slow but sure this book's getting written. This idiom was first recorded in 1562, although the idea is much older. A related phrase appears in the proverb slow and steady wins the race, which is the moral of Aesop's fable about the race between a tortoise and a hare, which stopped to nap during the race and therefore lost.
1. Delay, retard, reduce speed, as in She slowed down the sled by dragging her foot, or Slow down, Bill; you're driving much too fast. [First half of 1800s] Also see slow up.
2. Become less active or vigorous, as in Now that I'm in my seventies I find I've slowed down quite a bit. [Second half of 1800s]
Slacken or cause to slacken in speed, as in The train slowed up as it approached the curve, or Come on, you're slowing me up. [Late 1800s] Also see slow down, def. 1.
1. To decrease the speed or rate of something: The chef slowed down the mixer and added some flour to the batter. We slowed the boat down as we entered the harbor.
2. To move, work, or happen at a slower rate: We slowed down so that we could read the road sign.
3. To delay someone or something; retard someone or something: An injury slowed down the runner. A virus has slowed my computer down.
1. To delay someone or something; retard someone or something: Bad weather slowed up the project. The accident on the freeway slowed us up.
2. To move, work, or happen at a slower rate: Traffic slows up where the two freeways converge.
do a slow burn
tv. to be quietly angry. (see also slow burn.) I did a slow burn while I was getting my money back.
n. the act of becoming angry very slowly or being resentful for a long period of time. (see also do a slow burn.) His lips were pressed together and he was angry but just having a slow burn.
take it slow
tv. to go slowly and carefully. Just relax and take it slow. You’ve got a good chance.
slow boat to China
A very long time. A poker players' expression for a player who constantly lost was “I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China,” meaning that the others would have all the time in the world to win the guy's money. Composer Frank Loesser used the phrase as the title and the first line of a 1948 romantic ballad, and the expression started being used as a compliment.