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Re: "not to put too fine a point on it"

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 09, 2005

In Reply to: "Not to put too fine a point on it" posted by Kenneth Gleason on July 08, 2005

: Can anyone tell me the origin of the phrase "not to put too fine a point on it"? Any responses would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Looking for the origins of common phrases is usually a vain pursuit. However, you may be interested in what the OED has to say: "d. fig. phr. to put too fine a point upon: to express with unnecessary delicacy; not to state bluntly or in plain terms. (Chiefly in negative contexts.) [Earliest citation found:] 1852 DICKENS Bleak House. xi, He was{em-dash}not to put too fine a point upon it{em-dash}..hard up!" SS