bottom of it, at the/get to the

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get to the bottom of something

Fig. to get an understanding of the causes of something. We must get to the bottom of this problem immediately. There is clearly something wrong here, and I want to get to the bottom of it.
See also: bottom, get, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

get to the bottom of

Find the basic underlying quality or cause of something. For example, He was determined to get to the bottom of the problem. [Late 1700s] Also see at bottom.
See also: bottom, get, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

get to the bottom of

find an explanation for (a mystery).
See also: bottom, get, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bottom of it, at the/get to the

To discover the origin of a problem, or the fundamental truth of an issue or event. The word “bottom” has been used in this way (to mean ultimate cause) since the sixteenth century. Shakespeare used it numerous times, as in “Is there no pity . . . that sees into the bottom of my grief?” (Romeo and Juliet, 3.5). Several early proverbs also refer to “bottom” in this way: “If thou canst not see the bottom, wade not”; and “He brought the bottome of the bag cleane out” (John Heywood, 1546). The pioneer anthropologist James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, wrote in 1773 (Of the Origin and Progress of Language), “In order to get to the bottom of this question.”
See also: bottom, get, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
The poor brute seemed horribly scared, and crouched in the bottom of its little cage.