Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track by the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?
Our teacher showed us different kinds of flowers and told us in passing that those flowers came from her garden. (seee below)
The writer of the story says he grew up in New York and mentions in passing that his parents came from Italy.
in passing = by the way
She betook herself to her studies. (see below)
You'd better betake yourself to a place of safety.(see below)
You have to betake yourself to your heels. (take to your heels/show a clear pairs of your heels)
betake = to have recourse to; to apply; to resort; to go
Ablutions, in the East, have always been more or less a part of religious worship (see below)
They perform their ablutions before they partook of the consecrated food they received as offerings and tithes.
ablution = a washing or cleansing of the body, especially as part of a religious rite
Come on, you guys, let's get cracking! (see below)
The foreman told the workmen to get cracking.
Let’s get cracking = Let's hurry up!
He has to get off his tail.
get off one’s tail = to start working
The teacher told Walter to get going on his history lesson. (see below)
Let's get going. It's almost supper time.
get going = to begin to move; get started
Despite efforts by the United States and its allies in the last year to cripple the Taliban’s financing, using the military and intelligence, American officials acknowledge they barely made a dent.
dent = meaningful progress
make a dent = begin to accomplish or consume something as in: I've barely made a dent in this pile of correspondence.
Those with means try to rent homes or apartments, though tainted credit often makes that impossible.
tainted credit = bad credit
Producers of natural gas are battling their erstwhile allies, the oil companies.
erstwhile = former
Some coal executives aim to scuttle legislation in the Senate by continuing to cast doubts on the science of climate change.
scuttle (v) = make short work of or scrap (?)
Thank you for your efforts.