A Kid on the Block

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Jan 4, 2017 01:57
(1) a kid on the block

Today, when I read the Washington Post, I came across an expression “a kid on the block,” as in the sentence: “President-elect Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been trading threats this week, while China poses as the mature, reasonable kid on the block.”

I know “on the block” can mean “for sale,” but this sense doesn’t seem to fit in here. What do you think of it?

(2) begin in earnest

When I watched a TV news program today, I heard the phrase “began in earnest.” When I read a book last night, I met this phrase as well. With the help of the context, I take it as “the intensity of something is growing to a certain degree, so that it is becoming noticeable, important, etc..” Am I right?