sawdust

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hit the sawdust trail

1. dated To accept, practice, or convert to Christianity at an evangelist's revival meeting, so as to find redemption, rehabilitation, or spiritual salvation. Alludes to sawdust-covered aisles of the temporary church dwellings for revival meetings in the early 1900s. Primarily heard in US. That travelling evangelist has been pleading for everyone in town to hit the sawdust trail, for he believes that the end is nigh. My friend, the only way you will find peace within yourself is by hitting the sawdust trail at our meeting place over yonder.
2. dated Of an itinerant evangelist preacher, to begin travelling to the next location where one will preach. ("Sawdust trail" is sometimes capitalized in this usage.) Primarily heard in US. Old Bill Baxton? Shoot, he's been hitting the Sawdust Trail for the better part of his life. He probably wouldn't be able to settle down in one place if he tried!
See also: hit, sawdust, trail

the sawdust trail

1. dated The path or journey to redemption or rehabilitation (as for a sinner or criminal) by accepting, practicing, or converting to Christianity at an evangelist revival meeting. Alludes to sawdust-covered aisles of the temporary church dwellings for revival meetings in the early 1900s. Primarily heard in US. That travelling evangelist has been pleading for everyone in town to hit the sawdust trail, for he believes that the end is nigh.
2. (sometimes capitalized) dated The itinerary of or route taken by a travelling evangelist preacher. Primarily heard in US. Old Bill Baxton? Shoot, he's been on the Sawdust Trail for the better part of his life. He probably wouldn't be able to settle down in one place if he tried!
See also: sawdust, trail

the sawdust circuit

dated The itinerary of or route taken by a travelling evangelist preacher. (Variant of the more common "sawdust trail.") Primarily heard in US. Old Bill Baxton? Shoot, he's been on the sawdust circuit for the better part of his life. He probably wouldn't be able to settle down in one place if he tried!
See also: circuit, sawdust

(someone) could sell sawdust to a lumber mill

Someone is an extremely smooth, charming, or persuasive salesperson, such that he or she could sell something to those who have no need or use for it. I can't believe you were able to sell an extra 200 units to the hospital. You could sell sawdust to a lumber mill!
See also: could, lumber, mill, sawdust, sell

spit-and-sawdust

  (British)
a spit-and-sawdust pub (= type of bar that is found in Britain) is dirty and untidy and is not modern or attractive (always before noun) There are one or two spit-and-sawdust pubs in the town centre but nothing remotely trendy.