sawdust

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hit the sawdust trail

1. dated To accept, practice, or convert to Christianity at an evangelist's revival meeting, so as to find redemption, rehabilitation, or spiritual salvation. Alludes to sawdust-covered aisles of the temporary church dwellings for revival meetings in the early 1900s. Primarily heard in US. That travelling evangelist has been pleading for everyone in town to hit the sawdust trail, for he believes that the end is nigh. My friend, the only way you will find peace within yourself is by hitting the sawdust trail at our meeting place over yonder.
2. dated Of an itinerant evangelist preacher, to begin travelling to the next location where one will preach. ("Sawdust trail" is sometimes capitalized in this usage.) Primarily heard in US. Old Bill Baxton? Shoot, he's been hitting the Sawdust Trail for the better part of his life. He probably wouldn't be able to settle down in one place if he tried!
See also: hit, sawdust, trail

the sawdust trail

1. dated The path or journey to redemption or rehabilitation (as for a sinner or criminal) by accepting, practicing, or converting to Christianity at an evangelist revival meeting. Alludes to sawdust-covered aisles of the temporary church dwellings for revival meetings in the early 1900s. Primarily heard in US. That travelling evangelist has been pleading for everyone in town to hit the sawdust trail, for he believes that the end is nigh.
2. (sometimes capitalized) dated The itinerary of or route taken by a travelling evangelist preacher. Primarily heard in US. Old Bill Baxton? Shoot, he's been on the Sawdust Trail for the better part of his life. He probably wouldn't be able to settle down in one place if he tried!
See also: sawdust, trail

the sawdust circuit

dated The itinerary of or route taken by a travelling evangelist preacher. (Variant of the more common "sawdust trail.") Primarily heard in US. Old Bill Baxton? Shoot, he's been on the sawdust circuit for the better part of his life. He probably wouldn't be able to settle down in one place if he tried!
See also: circuit, sawdust

(someone) could sell sawdust to a lumber mill

Someone is an extremely smooth, charming, or persuasive salesperson, such that they could sell something to those who have no need or use for it. I can't believe you were able to sell an extra 200 units to the hospital. You could sell sawdust to a lumber mill!
See also: could, lumber, mill, sawdust, sell

spit-and-sawdust

Describing a basic, old-fashioned pub that is perhaps not as clean as more modernized establishments. In the past, many pubs had sawdust on the floor. Primarily heard in UK. You can keep all those trendy gastropubs. I just want a quiet spit-and-sawdust place where I can get a pint.

spit and sawdust

BRITISH
A spit and sawdust pub or bar is dirty, untidy, and does not look respectable. I used to perform with a rock and roll band in the spit and sawdust Waterfront club. There's a pub called `The Compasses' in the High Street if it's spit and sawdust you're after. Note: In the past, the public bars of many pubs had sawdust on the floor to soak up the mess caused by people spitting and spilling their drinks.
See also: and, sawdust, spit

spit and sawdust

(of a pub) old-fashioned, run-down, or dirty. British informal
Until the mid 20th century, the general bar of a pub would often have sawdust sprinkled on the floor, on to which the customers could spit.
See also: and, sawdust, spit