down to the short strokes

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Possibly an allusion to painting, in which a painter typically finishes a work with short, careful, finishing strokes of the paint brush, or to golf, in which a player concludes each hole by making short strokes with a putter.

Adjective[edit]

down to the short strokes

  1. (idiomatic) In the final steps or decisive phase of an undertaking, especially one which has been lengthy or laborious.
    • 1992, "Bembenek Doe near completion," Milwaukee Sentinel, 10 June, p. 12A (retrieved 29 May 2009):
      "I would say we are down to the short strokes, down to the cleanup phase" of the investigation, said E. Campion Kersten, a Fox Point lawyer.

Adverb[edit]

down to the short strokes

  1. (idiomatic) To the final steps or decisive phase of an undertaking, especially one which has been lengthy or laborious.
    • 1960, Arthur Edson, "Lyndon's Knack Gets Test," Milwaukee Sentinal, 14 July., p. 7 (retrieved 29 May 2009):
      "You should never count Lyndon out," Nixon said. "When it comes down to the short strokes, there's no one who can handle them better than Lyndon Johnson.
    • 1995, William Safire, "Essay: Reading Bill's Mind," New York Times, 26 June (retrieved 29 May 2009):
      When the budget negotiations get down to the short strokes in October, should I cave or take the "train wreck"?
    • 2003, "Angry Tories protest outside Harper-MacKay meeting," CTV.ca/Canadian Press, 13 Nov. (retrieved 29 May 2009):
      Anyone who wants to vote on delegates who will then decide whether to ratify the deal must have a membership by the end of this week. "It's getting down to the short strokes," MacKay said.

Synonyms[edit]