long and the short of it

long and the short of it

 and short and the long of it
Fig. the most important point; the summary of the matter. Jill: Is there some reason that you've spent the last half hour complaining about Fred? Jane: The long and the short of it is, I hate working with him so much that I'm going to resign. Dad keeps saying that he can't spend the rest of his life in mourning for Mother. I finally asked him if he was thinking of getting married again. "That's the long and the short of it," he admitted.
See also: and, long, of, short
References in classic literature ?
But it's gone, that's the long and the short of it, and you'll just have to change to a red flann'l one till I can get time to make a new one.