Roll up one's sleeves

Idioms & Phrases

roll up one's sleeves

Prepare to work, as in When he saw how much snow had fallen he simply rolled up his sleeves and went to find the shovel. This expression, alluding to turning one's sleeves upward to avoid getting them wet or dirty, is used both literally and more loosely, as in the example here.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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