dot the i's and cross the t's

dot the i's and cross the t's

Be meticulous and precise, fill in all the particulars, as in Laura had dotted all the i's and crossed the t's, so she wondered what she'd done wrong . This expression presumably began as an admonition to schoolchildren to write carefully and is sometimes shortened. William Makepeace Thackeray had it in a magazine article ( Scribner's Magazine, 1849): "I have . . . dotted the i's." [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, cross, dot
References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed there's talk the move is so far advanced that all he has to do is dot the I's and cross the T's - the latter with pinpoint accuracy.
Hariri left these commitments vague and unclear, but the media on Monday tried to dot the i's and cross the t's.
The Libyan brothers dot the i's and cross the t's," the minister said at a news conference following the weekly Cabinet Meeting, held Thursday in Rabat.
It's all done and dusted and we just need to dot the i's and cross the t's.
We have just got to make sure we dot the i's and cross the t's, hold the ball well and do things correctly.
Murphy said: ''It hasn't been finalised but we just need to dot the I's and cross the T's.
But when you use the initiative process, it's your job to follow that process and make sure you dot the i's and cross the t's,'' she said.
DOT THE I'S AND CROSS THE T'S It might sound obvious but missing information and inaccurate data on invoices can often cause payments to be delayed.