be (a little) slow on the uptake

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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.
See also: on, slow, uptake

be ˌquick/ˌslow on the ˈuptake

(informal) understand things quickly/understand even simple things with difficulty: He’s a very good worker but he’s a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. You have to explain everything twice.
See also: on, quick, slow, uptake