not to put too fine a point on it

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English[edit]

Phrase[edit]

not to put too fine a point on it

  1. (idiomatic) used to apologise for a possibly impolite statement one is making.
    • 1853, Charles Dickens, Bleak House:
      My little woman is at present in — not to put too fine a point on it — in a pious state, or in what she considers such, and attends the Evening Exertions (which is the name they go by) of a reverend party of the name of Chadband
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Episode 16
      En route to his taciturn and, not to put too fine a point on it, not yet perfectly sober companion Mr Bloom...
    • 1989, They Might Be Giants, Flood: Birdhouse In Your Soul
      Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
      Who watches over you
      Make a little birdhouse in your soul
      Not to put too fine a point on it
      Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
      Make a little birdhouse in your soul
    • 2001, Amy Jenkins, Honeymoon, page 39:
      Well, you will end up — not to put too fine a point on it (you lower your voice) — having sex.