slim pickings

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slim pickings pl (plural only)

  1. (colloquial) A small amount, paucity; especially in reference to money.
    • 1876, The Gentleman's Magazine, July to December issue, pg. 208:
      ... they were among the citizens of the Great Republic who got shut into Paris during the siege, and had reason to complain of "the slim pickings" even their dollars commanded during that tragic episode of our neighbours' history.
    • 1920, Harry Alverson Franck, Roaming Through the West Indies, The Century Co., pg. 153:
      Only at one season during the year does the average Haitian get more than these slim pickings; that is in mango-time, and then the roads and trails are carpeted with the yellow pits.
    • 2008, Mike Wise, The Washington Post, "Redskins Looked Below the Radar," February 10, 2008, [1]:
      But in a year of slim pickings in the super-coach business -- Cowher and Carroll preferred to wait another day -- there was not much left to choose from.