Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Social_nav_masthead_logged_in
 
hard nut to crack

hard nut to crack

Date: Mar 29 2007

Themes: Pop Culture

Quote

1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“I think America is a hard nut to crack.”

Simon Cowell talking about being successful on American television with his show American Idol.

Definition

1. Definition - Study the definition.

difficult to break into; difficult to win over; hard to understand

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

Simon Cowell was responsible for bringing American Idol to American television. It is now the country’s most popular show. However, he is saying here that it was hard to figure out a way to be successful on American television. In other words, America is a hard nut to crack.

This expression can be used to describe a thing or a person.

For example, say you are trying to get to know your sister’s new boyfriend, but he is stoic and quiet. He doesn’t really say much about himself or express opinions no matter how many questions you ask. You could say he is a hard nut to crack.

Or, say your dream is to write a screenplay that will be turned into a Hollywood movie. Obviously, unless you know someone in Hollywood who can get your script into the right hands, no one is going to read it. Because there is so much competition in Hollywood, and because you probably have to know someone to get into the business, you can say that Hollywood is a hard nut to crack.

Examples

1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“Johnny is a hard nut to crack. He’s so quiet, I can never tell what he’s thinking.”

“Journalism is a hard nut to crack. It’s very difficult to get published. There is a lot of competition.”

“My boss is a hard nut to crack. No matter what I do, he never says thank you. I can’t tell if he likes me or not.”

Winners

1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

difficult to satisfy
by wonkapet
It's difficult to make them laugh
by Arsham
army_tiger it isn't easy to do it, win or battle it.
by army_tiger
I think it means that it's difficult to convince, seduce.
by verocel
very difficult to work with
by helenhorse
America it`s complicated. It`s a diffciult place to being succesfully
by vivianadelbuono
It´s a goal not easy to achieve.
by Lali
subaby I think the implication is that: American are very difficult people to satisfy because their views on arts or on pictures are high and variable. Only high quality movie products do satisfy them.
by subaby
opposite of "piece of cake" It's hard to make a successful show in America.
by hiprue
ElBeam Very strong, very resistant. It is very difficult to win against it.
by ElBeam
jimmyahmed Difficult to achieve the goal.....
by jimmyahmed
tutmo I guess that means America is very hard to understand.
by tutmo
patriot hard to deal with or handle or understand
by patriot
it's difficult;hard to understand.
by panda&bamboo
云淡风轻 someone who is difficult to move/touch
by 云淡风轻
I think it means that it's difficult to find the approval of the American TV spectatorship, i.e. that being successul with a show on American TV is really a great and unique achievement
by evarus
velang It's something or someone difficult to understand or do
by velang
Lubov it's impossible or very hard to do
by Lubov
Difficult to understand ?
by vincent_he
Jane-Angie Hard to deal with, difficult to handle
by Jane-Angie
that his business venture is a bit difficult in America
by teenastar07
A thing which is difficulot to do.
by t_nanu@rediffmail.com
amlan tough to impress or difficult to conquer.
by amlan
America is a difficult place to figure out
by ma19ji76d
It's quite difficult to succeed in America
by Atia
wendy wang hard nut to crack means ... it is not so easy to understand or deal with...am i right?
by wendy wang
bua It's tough. It's not easy.
by bua
23765 He thought that achieve success in America is much harder than in other countries. "To have hard nut to crack" mean that we have to put a lot of effort to do something, much easier is to find a groove.
by 23765

Want to guess next week's slang?

Go to the TOEFL® page >

Comments

Log in to Comment

kulais

Saudi Arabia

i want to improve my speakink but i think no use

03:50 PM Apr 29 2007 |

ronee_78

Indonesia

Two thumbs up, Excellent

11:14 AM Apr 03 2007 |

amit004k

India

hard nut to crackis really a hard to do somting

04:44 PM Apr 02 2007 |

abdeeq

abdeeq

Somalia

it is not easy

07:36 AM Apr 02 2007 |

BenJ

France

yeah very usefull thx ^^

01:06 PM Apr 01 2007 |

helenhorse

Canada

I think I was a hard nut to crack when I worked in my first company. I wonder how people react to this kind of person

02:01 PM Mar 30 2007 |

justinmatts

India

It really doesn’t mean that Americans are pretty hard to deal with, due to lot of crticisms Simon is finding it tough!

09:22 AM Mar 30 2007 |

phoenix.xian

China

this slang,i like it

10:56 AM Mar 29 2007 |

nadal17

Jordan

we can also use “hard nut to truck ” to describe a misrty situations

10:23 AM Mar 29 2007 |

seleh

seleh

Iraq

I am a hard nut to crack…

10:01 AM Mar 29 2007 |

ones

China

I don’t know!My Engly is no good!

08:57 AM Mar 29 2007 |

Blue-Smile

Blue-Smile

Switzerland

We also have a hard nut to crack if we should something learn in our life to change.

07:38 AM Mar 29 2007 |

yt43fag

China

it is useful

05:41 AM Mar 29 2007 |

Likes (117):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast