long and the short of it/the matter, the

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the long and the short of it

all that can or need be said.
1999 Tim Lott White City Blue His mother takes a lot of looking after, his wage is worse than Nodge's, and the long and short of it is he hasn't got a pot to piss in.
See also: and, long, of, short

the long and the short of it

The substance or gist: You can look on the front page of the paper for the long and the short of it.
See also: and, long, of, short

long and the short of it/the matter, the

The essence of the matter; in a nutshell. This expression, sometimes reversed (that is, the short and the long of something), dates from the fourteenth century. Shakespeare preferred the reversed form (Henry V, 3.2; The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2.1), but by the end of the seventeenth century long nearly always preceded short.
See also: and, long, of, short