Attic salt

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Attic salt ‎(uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Pointed and delicate wit.
    • 1918: Koznyshev, who knew better than anyone how at the end of a most abstract and serious dispute unexpectedly to administer a grain of Attic salt and thereby to change his interlocutor's frame of mind, did so now. — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, tr. Louise & Aylmer Maude (Oxford 1998, p. 382)