Let's get down to brass tacks.(redirected from let's go down to brass tacks)
Let's get down to brass tacks.
Let's focus on or start dealing with the most important aspects of a particular situation. All right, everyone, enough with the pleasantries—let's get down to brass tacks. A: "So, do you want to start negotiations?" B: "Sure, let's get down to brass tacks."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
get down to brass tacks, to/let's
To arrive at the heart of the matter. Some think this late nineteenth-century term comes from Cockney rhyming slang for hard facts. Another possible and perhaps more likely source is the American general store, where a countertop was marked with brass tacks at one-yard intervals for measuring cloth, and “getting to brass tacks” meant measuring precisely. Still another theory is that in upholstered furniture, brass tacks were used to secure the undermost cloth, and to reupholster properly one had to strip the furniture to that layer. A mid-twentieth-century American synonym is to get down to the nitty-gritty, alluding to the detailed (nitty) and perhaps unpleasant (gritty) facts of the case. It was borrowed from black English, where it signified the anus and alluded to picking body lice (nits) from that body part. This association had been largely forgotten by the time the term was popularized by the 1964 hit song “The Nitty Gritty” by Shirley Ellis.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer