the crack of dawn
Very early in the morning
have something up your sleeve
Have a secret plan or advantage which can be used if necessary
do the donkey work
Do the hard and boring part of a job or task
a rule of thumb
A helpful, accurate guide which is based on practice not on theory.
‘by and large’
In general; when everything is considered.
‘get your skates on’ (informal, British English)
= Hurry up
Not prepared in advance (e.g. a remark)
‘bear (bore/born(e)) the brunt of something’
Suffer the main effects or force of something unpleasant