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Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–).  The Columbia Guide to Standard American English.  1993.
 
nitty-gritty (adj., n.)
 
 
is slang, meaning “the essential, practical details,” as in He got down to the nitty-gritty right away; She turned then to nitty-gritty matters of wages and hours. See RHYMING COMPOUNDS.  1
 
 
The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Copyright © 1993 Columbia University Press.

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