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the dismal science
A disparaging term for the discipline of economics, coined in 1849 by Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle as a label for the school of economists who supported the abolition of slavery. Economists have predicted that the exponential population growth will eventually cause our entire society to collapse in on itself—I suppose that is why they are known as practitioners of the dismal science.
be not rocket science
To not be a pursuit, activity, or endeavor that requires extraordinary skill or intelligence. Look, all you need to do is reformat the hard drive on your computer. It isn't rocket science! Sure, it took a little bit of time to figure out, but reinstalling the modem wasn't rocket science or anything.
A pursuit, activity, or endeavor that requires extraordinary skill or intelligence. Most often used in the negative to imply the opposite. Look, all you need to do is reformat the hard drive on your computer. It isn't rocket science! I thought it would be simple enough to fix the car's engine on my own, but this turned out to be like rocket science to me!
blind (one) with science
To use technical terms or scientific jargon that the listener does not understand. As you plan your talk, be careful not to blind the audience with science.
have (something) down to a science
To learn, master, or understand something perfectly, to the point of requiring little or no focus to do, recall, or accomplish it. I had my routine down to a science so there wouldn't be any room for error during the performance. I'm a working mom of three, so I have lunch-making down to a science—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter.
get (something) down to a science
To learn, master, or understand something perfectly, to the point of requiring little or no focus to do, recall, or accomplish it. I got my routine down to a science so there wouldn't be any room for error during the performance. I'm a working mom of three, so I've got lunch-making down to a science—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter.
not rocket science
If you say that something isn't rocket science, you mean that it is easy or obvious. It isn't rocket science to figure out that you will sell more sweets if you put them where small children will see them. People should be able to fill in the forms themselves — this isn't rocket science. Note: You can use expressions such as it doesn't take or you don't have to be a rocket scientist to point out that something is very easy or obvious. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why he's so angry. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work it out. Note: The expression rocket scientist, meaning `very clever person', is used in various other structures. Now I'm no rocket scientist, but even I could see those figures looked way too high.
blind someone with science
If someone blinds you with science, they tell you about something in a complicated, technical way so that you find it hard to understand. We want facts and figures but don't want to be blinded by science. I must admit that as a teenage, amateur photographer I learned all the technical jargon so I could impress people by blinding them with science.
blind someone with scienceuse special or technical knowledge and vocabulary to confuse someone.
not rocket scienceused to indicate that something is not very difficult to understand. humorous
ˌblind somebody with ˈsciencedeliberately confuse somebody with your special knowledge, especially by using difficult or technical words which they do not understand: Every time I ask her a simple question, she tries to blind me with science.
it’s not ˈrocket scienceused in order to emphasize that something is not complicated or difficult to do or understand: Oh, I’m sure I’ll manage. It’s not exactly rocket science, is it?
have/get something down to a ˈscience(especially American English, often humorous) have a very precise and efficient way of doing something, especially something that is normally done in a casual or informal way: When Tom says he has shopping down to a science, he isn’t kidding.
dismal science, the
Economics. The term is Thomas Carlyle’s, and he first used it in On the Nigger Question (1849), writing: “The social science—not a ‘gay science’ but a rueful—which finds the secret of this Universe in ‘supply and demand’ . . . what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science.” He repeated it the following year in a pamphlet, and it gradually caught on, becoming particularly popular among students struggling with the subject’s complexities.
See also: dismal