This is one lovely expression that cropped up again today in a conversation with a friend. We were discussing driving (on the occasion of me finally passing my driving test!) and he said that it was easy once you got the hang of it. So true, but I cannot help thinking that very soon my instructor won’t be sat there to get me out of the hairy situations.
This expression means, quite simply, to learn or start to understand something.
I could not help but squeeze one of the quotes from the great Douglas Adams as an example:
– “This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.” (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
– I have now spent two years embedded deep in female territory: in fashion, with a capital F. And I have started to get the hang of it. What has become clear is that fashion is to many women what sport is to many men: a pastime, a passion, a shared language, a form of self-definition, and a temporary escape from the opposite sex, all rolled into one deeply satisfying whole (The Economist). Now, I am by no means a fashion victim, but this sounds so true.
– The trouble with Johnny Foreigner, as the British have long remarked, is that he can’t understand you. But the trouble with the British is that they can’t learn his language: most of them simply cannot get the hang of all those conjugations and gerundives and adjectives that have to agree with nouns (The Economist).