In fits and starts

A rather nice expression to describe doing something in an irregular fashion, starting and stopping at various intervals and thereby causing the action to drag out over time.

I asked Jerry to cut the grass but he’s doing it in fits and starts and it’s taking him ages.  The lawn itself looks a mess half mown like that.

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The start part is easy to understand but apparently this idiom came into being when the ´fit´ part was added.  This meaning of fit refers to a seizure or spasm, like an epileptic fit.  So, fits adds this spasmodic quality to the various starts a job is being done with.

The government promised to build a new highway but progress is going in fits and starts. Who knows when they will open it?

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Slog

Another four letter word!

This week has been a long slog workwise!

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As you can see it means something hard and difficult to get through.  Usually referred to work but can also describe walking in difficult conditions.

slog

It was quite a slog getting to the point in driving rain and a headwind.

A third meaning relates to hitting and I have seen it used a lot with sports. It implies a bit heavy powerful strike of the ball.

The batsman slogged the ball out of the ground.

Hence slogger.

slogger

Jones is better known as a slogger getting a high score in quick time than as a patient batsman with finesse.

Some of you might ask about slug. Yes. It can mean hit as well along with multiple other meanings best left for another day.