the short and the long of it

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the short and the long of it

The essential or most important point being made; the plain truth of the matter. There are a lot of reasons I don't want to go, but the short and the long of it is that I don't want to see my ex-boyfriend there. Bob, the short and the long of it is that we aren't satisfied with your performance in work lately.
See also: and, long, of, short