nitty-gritty, the

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.

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.

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.