Is there an idiom I could use if I wanted to say that someone is doing something with a lot difficulty and slowly?

I cannot think of anything. Thanks

Edit from comment:

For example: You have learnt a lot of things and you will sail through the exams. Your lazy friends on the contrary will slog their way through it.

Is there an expression I can use instead of slog to convey a similar meaning?

  • 1
    You can say he is "finding the work challenging".
    – Dan Bron
    May 7, 2015 at 14:58
  • How about clamber?
    – Tushar Raj
    May 7, 2015 at 14:59
  • 1
    Thanks Dan Bron but I would like something like an idiom.
    – Gyonder
    May 7, 2015 at 15:01
  • 3
    Can you give an example of the sort of thing they might be doing and/or the circumstances where you would make your comment? Something like "He's slogging his way through it" , or "it's a real slog" might work. (see slog at m-w.com)
    – Hellion
    May 7, 2015 at 15:10
  • 1
    Slog through something is an idiom already. Another similar one is plow through something.
    – ermanen
    May 7, 2015 at 15:50

4 Answers 4


Wading through treacle gets several hits on line

If the effort is doomed to failure it can be described as a Sisyphean task


Merriam Webster Definition of SISYPHEAN : of, relating to, or suggestive of the labors of Sisyphus

SISYPHUS : a legendary king of Corinth condemned eternally to repeatedly roll a heavy rock up a hill in Hades only to have it roll down again as it nears the top


Another idea is "swimming through porridge"


I'd suggest, flounder/wade through (something)

flounder through

Fig. to struggle awkwardly through a difficult situation.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

I floundered through the test because I never studied.



drudging through the work? that's properly idiomatic but it sounds kind of demeaning, as in speaking assertively, rather than in terms intended to teach as idioms do. But this phrasing certainly fits the definition as dictionary.com defines it.

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