Work sth up: to develop or improve something with some effort. Estimular. I can't work up any enthusiasm for his idea. She went for a long walk to work up an appetite (abrir el apetito)
Pick at sth: to eat food slowly, taking small amounts or bites because you are not hungry. Comer sin ganas. E.g. she sat at the table in silence, picking at her dinner.
Close second: nearly won. E.g. he finished a close second: llegó en segundo lugar muy cerca del ganador.
Wholly: /ˈhəʊlli/ completely, totally. E.g. wholly inappropriate behaviour. The government is not wholly to blame for the recession.