||a Federal prison on Alcatraz, a rocky island in San Francisco Bay
||Do you remember Birdman of Alcatraz? Burt Lancaster plays a
lifer who escapes from The Rock by swimming across the bay.
||a prison on Riker's Island, New York; in the slammer
||After Willie left The Rock he vowed to
|the room is so small you have to go outside turn around
||the room is very small; so small you could barely swing a cat
||It's not a large apartment. The bathroom is so small I have to go outside to turn around.
|the root of the problem
||the cause of the problem, the reason for the problem
||Students don't do enough reading - that's the root of the problem.
||an indirect answer, pass the buck, what a rigmarole
||I complained about the dryer, but they gave me the runaround. They blamed the delivery man.
|the runt of the litter
||the smallest and weakest in a group of animal siblings born at the same time
||When it comes to mathematics, I am the runt of the litter. My scores on math tests are very low.
|the salt of the earth
||common people; honest, hard-working people
||The Swensons are plain, decent people - the salt of the earth.
|the school of hard knocks
||life's hard lessons, learning from mistakes, roll with the punches
||Teachers taught me what I should know; the school of hard knocks taught me what I must know.
|the shit hit the fan
||people become angry, somebody starts a fight
||It was a good party until Ed started a fight. Then the shit hit the fan!
|the short end of the stick
||the worst job, the least pay, dump on
||When I work with Ken, I always get the short end of the stick. He gives me the hard jobs.