What does the idiom "get the hang of it" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase get the hang of it, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression get the hang of it used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "get the hang of it"


The idiom “get the hang of it” is usually used to refer to someone understanding or learning how to do something quickly or easily. In other words, it means mastering a particular skill or concept.


This phrase originated in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The exact origin of this phrase is unknown, but it is thought to be derived from the phrase “get the hang of it.” Hang in this sense means “to cling to” or “to hold on”. In other words, the idiom implies that if you “get the hang” of something, you can hold onto it and have mastery of it.


This phrase is typically used as an encouraging expression when someone is trying to understand or master something, but having difficulty doing so. It is also used to express satisfaction about a person's progress in mastering a particular skill or concept.

Example Sentences

  • Don't be discouraged, I'm sure you'll get the hang of it soon.
  • You're getting the hang of it! Keep going and you'll be an expert soon.
  • It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I finally understand how to do it.

The meanings of the words in the "get the hang of it" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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