grist for the mill

grist for the mill

Something that initially seems bad or negative but is ultimately used in a positive way by someone. A: "The tabloids found out that you've been in rehab. How do you plan on handling it?" B: "It's just grist for the mill—I'm a changed man now, and that's what I'll tell the media. At least they're writing about me again!"
See also: grist, mill

grist for the mill

 and grist for someone's mill; grist to the mill
Fig. something useful or needed. Bob bases the novels he writes on his own experience, so everything that happens to him is grist for the mill. Ever since I started making patchwork quilts, every scrap of cloth I find is grist for the mill.
See also: grist, mill

grist for the mill

Something that can be used to advantage, as in These seemingly useless data will be grist for the mill when he lodges a complaint. This expression alludes to grist, the amount of grain that can be ground at one time. [Late 1500s]
See also: grist, mill

grist for the mill

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

grist to the mill

BRITISH
COMMON If something is grist for the mill or grist to the mill, you can use it in a particular situation to help you to do something. Celebrity gossip is, of course, grist for the mill as far as the tabloids are concerned. You are, of course, much better at writing songs when you are completely miserable — it gives you so much more grist for the mill. Note: `Grist' was grain that was brought to a windmill or watermill to be ground. Millers needed regular supplies of grain to keep their businesses in operation.
See also: grist, mill
References in periodicals archive ?
This debate was grist for the mill of the AfD," Altmaier said.
Local historian Peter Forrest was sceptical Portuguese explorers reached Northern Australia in the 1500s, but if the find was a genuine swivel gun from that period it would be grist for the mill for people that believed the theory, he said.
The dislocations marking Cairo since the Sadat years - when the state abandoned Nasserism in favor of the market and peace with Israel - have provided no small amount of grist for the mill of independently minded Egyptian cinema.
Such professions help one earn a living while at the same time providing pleasure to society; thus, it's all grist for the mill.
All of that is grist for the mill of countless business newsletters.
Temperature increases are especially relevant, but hurricane frequency and ozone-layer holes are also grist for the mill.
91) that Xerxes' failed invasion of Greece is attributable more to Persian mistakes than to Greek facility offers much grist for the mill.
More grist for the mill comes from David Weston, of Blyth, who wrote: "An elementary rule when writing about other people's mistakes is to make sure you don't drop a clanger yourself.
How we voted in the election is another angle, and data from exit polls are grist for the mill.
There's so much grist for the mill in the Gospel lesson, have you ever reflected with your congregation on Daniel or Ephesians?
It challenges the way we plan and train, and it certainly provides grist for the mill of doctrine development--while pointing out, yet again, that this is not the foe our parents and grandparents faced.
So everything that we are living with, around and through is potentially grist for the mill.
For ethics or religion classes: The stem cell debate provides excellent grist for the mill.
Arbitrariness, at play as subjectivity in Rhoades's work, is contingent on the flux of construction and deconstruction, the simultaneity of going up and coming down, and aligns with the temporary, the mobile, the conditional--and that's so much grist for the mill when it comes to thinking not just about the changing postmodern world but also who we might be in it.