I'm learning english using 'Phineas and Ferb'.

This situation is
before introducing some auditions(like American idol),
there is one singing tone-def person.

After singing, the dj was like,

Oh, boy! Did that kid stink or what?
But maybe you've got what it takes to be
The Next Super American Pop Teen Idol Star!

I didn't know these two sentence.

In first sentence,
Stink means bad smell? And what's the meaning of or what??

In second sentence,
What's the meaning of it takes to be?

  • @cobaltduck What quote? There is no attributed source. (Yes, it's from an epsiode of the cartoon—but there should be a link to a video clip or a transcript.) Looking only at the sentences, what it takes on its own is fine. But adding only to be is strange. It seems like it's missing something like what it takes to be a star. Dec 26, 2018 at 16:16
  • @cobaltduck Gotcherback. Dec 26, 2018 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


You've actually asked two questions, about two separate idioms, so I will answer them independently.

First, the "or what?" is an expression added to a statement to which one expects agreement, generally to add emphasis, or to challenge another to disagree. You are essentially saying, "If what I say is not the case, than what is?" Idioms By Free Dictionary gives us these definitions:

Added to a yes-no question as a means of emphasizing that "yes" is the correct answer.

a way of adding emphasis to a yes-or-no question the speaker has asked. (In effect, if it wasn't what I said, what is it?)

To paraphrase the announcer's "Did that kid stink or what?" I might say, "That kid's performance was really horrible. Does anyone disagree?"

Now the second part, "what it takes." This idiom refers to having either the skills and abilities, or possibly the will and determination, to accomplish a task. Again turning to Free Dictionary for definitions:

The skill, ability, or wherewithal to do something.

The necessary expertise or qualities needed for success.

Paraphrasing the announcer this time, I would say, "Maybe you are talented and determined enough to compete on this show?"

  • Awesome! I understood easy because of your paraphrasing. Thank you.
    – JoonT
    Dec 28, 2018 at 16:06

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