gritty

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get down to brass tacks

To focus on the most important aspects of a particular situation. Let's get down to brass tacks so that everyone has a good grasp on the project overall before we split up to do our separate parts. Don't get overwhelmed with this case, just get down to brass tacks.
See also: brass, down, get, tack

get down to the nitty-gritty

To become focused on the most important or fundamental aspects of a particular situation. The manager always likes to begin the weekly meetings with an informal discussion before getting down to the nitty-gritty. We eventually got down to the nitty-gritty and came up with a solution.
See also: down, get

the nitty-gritty

The specific facts, details, or elements of something. The manager always likes to begin the weekly meetings with an informal discussion before getting down to the nitty-gritty.

get down to brass tacks

Fig. to begin to talk about important things; to get down to business. Let's get down to brass tacks. We've wasted too much time chatting. Don't you think that it's about time to get down to brass tacks?
See also: brass, down, get, tack

get down to the nitty-gritty

to get down to the basic facts. Stop messing around and get down to the nitty-gritty. If we could only get down to the nitty-gritty and stop wasting time.
See also: down, get

get down to brass tacks

Also, get down to bedrock or the nitty gritty or cases . Deal with the essentials; come to the point. For example, Stop delaying and get down to brass tacks, or We really need to get down to bedrock, or He has a way of getting down to the nitty gritty, or Let's get down to cases. The origin of the first phrase, dating from the late 1800s, is disputed. Some believe it alludes to the brass tacks used under fine upholstery, others that it is Cockney rhyming slang for "hard facts," and still others that it alludes to tacks hammered into a sales counter to indicate precise measuring points. The noun bedrock has signified the hard rock underlying alluvial mineral deposits since about 1850 and has been used figuratively to denote "bottom" since the 1860s. The noun nitty-gritty dates from the mid-1900s and alludes to the detailed ("nitty") and possibly unpleasant ("gritty") issue in question. The noun cases apparently alludes to the game of faro, in which the "case card" is the last of a rank of cards remaining in play; this usage dates from about 1900. Also see to the point.
See also: brass, down, get, tack

get down to brass tacks

If people get down to brass tacks, they begin to discuss the basic, most important aspects of a situation. To get down to brass tacks, what I want to know is, do you know anything at all about her mother's side of the family? Note: The usual explanation for this expression is that in Cockney rhyming slang `brass tacks' are facts.
See also: brass, down, get, tack

the nitty-gritty

The nitty-gritty of something is its most basic and important features. Now down to the nitty-gritty. I've been fat since I was 14 and been on countless unsuccessful diets. It is easy to lose sight of your aims in the nitty-gritty of daily life. Note: Nitty-gritty is also used before nouns. Let us look at the nitty-gritty problems now.

get (or come) down to brass tacks

start to consider the essential facts or practical details; reach the real matter in hand. informal
1932 T. S. Eliot Sweeney Agonistes That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks: Birth, and copulation, and death.
See also: brass, down, get, tack

get down to brass ˈtacks

(informal) begin to discuss and deal with the really important practical details: Let’s get down to brass tacks — how much will it all cost?
See also: brass, down, get, tack

get down to the nitty-ˈgritty

(informal) start discussing the basic, especially the practical aspects of a matter/decision: Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Who’s going to pay for the renovations?We talked for an hour without really getting down to the nitty-gritty of the problem.
See also: down, get

get down to the nitty-gritty

in. to get down to the basic facts. (see also nitty-gritty.) If we could only get down to the nitty-gritty and stop wasting time.
See also: down, get

nitty-gritty

(ˈnɪdi ˈgrɪdi)
n. the essence; the essential points. (Usually in get down to the nitty-gritty.) Once we are down to the nitty-gritty, we can begin to sort things out.

nitty-gritty, the

The heart of the matter, the fundamentals. According to lexicographer J. E. Lighter, this expression originated in black English and may be a rhyming elaboration of grit, but that has not been verified. It often is put as get down to the nitty-gritty. Nat Hentoff had it in Jazz Country (1965), “Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.” See also under get down to brass tacks.
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