Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal The specific or practical details; the heart of a matter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The essence or core of something; the details.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Uncertain, said to have been used at first by black jazz musicians, perhaps ultimately from reduplication nit and grits (finely ground corn), from Old English grytt, grytta ("coarse meal"). (Wiktionary)

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  • Of unknown origin although some have suggested that it refers to the 'debris' left in the bottom of a slave ship at the end of a voyage.

    January 24, 2008