meat and drink to me, it is

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meat and potatoes

The fundamental part or parts of something, as in This paragraph is the meat and potatoes of the contract. This metaphoric term transfers what some regard as basic fare to the basics of an issue. [Mid-1900s]
See also: and, meat, potato
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.

meat and potatoes

INFORMAL
The meat and potatoes of something are the most important and basic things about it or parts of it. American workwear is the meat and potatoes of off-duty clothing. The real meat and potatoes of any auto show is in the cars and trucks people can buy now.
See also: and, meat, potato
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

meat and potatoes

ordinary but fundamental things; basic ingredients.
1993 New York Times Mainstream rock acts like Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen are the meat and potatoes of A.O.R.
See also: and, meat, potato
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

meat and potatoes

Informal
The fundamental parts or part; the basis.
See also: and, meat, potato
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

meat and drink to me, it is

A source of great pleasure. This term appears in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (5.1), in which Touchstone declares, “It is meat and drink to me to see a clown,” but it appears in earlier sources as well. The phrase was hyperbole from the very start, since meat (meaning food) and drink are clearly essential to life. More straightforward is the much newer meat and potatoes, used from the mid-twentieth century on to signify the basics of an issue (transferring the idea that meat and potatoes are the basics of the human diet).
See also: and, drink, meat
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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