Brass tacks - get down to


      • get to the point or essential details
        To focus on the most important or relevant aspects of a topic or situation, without wasting time on unnecessary or irrelevant information.

      • be practical or realistic
        To approach a problem or situation with a practical mindset, considering the most important and necessary details rather than getting caught up in abstract or theoretical ideas.

    Examples of Brass tacks - get down to

    • John's boss told him, "Enough chitchat, let's brass tacks and discuss the budget for the new project."

      Brass tacks refers to the essential or most important aspects of a matter. 'Let's brass tacks' in this idiomatic expression means 'let's come to the critical points or major issues' although the literal meaning of brass tacks is closely associated with tailoring and refers to the metal fasteners that hold a fabric's seam allowance in place. In this scenario, the boss is instructing John to discard the small talk and move on to discussing the critical issues regarding the budget for the project.

    • The train was delayed because of technical problems, but the conductor promised to brass tacks and compensate us for the inconvenience.

      In this example, the conductor is pledging to resolve the issue and make things right by addressing the critical aspects of the problem, which is to compensate the passengers for the inconvenience caused by the delay.

    • Initially, the manager seemed interested in all the minutiae of our product plans until I reminded her to brass tacks and focus on the most promising ideas.

      The manager in this example had been dwelling on the trivialities of the product plans instead of focusing on the essential aspects that would provide the most profitable outcomes. The speaker urged her to refocus her attention by 'getting down to brass tacks.'

    • Instead of prolonging the meeting with idle discussions, let's brass tacks and finish our agenda.

      'Let's brass tacks' in this context is used to mean 'let's get down to business' or 'let's address the critical issues.' It implies that the meeting should be wrapped up with the discussion of the essential matters, rather than wasting time on unessential topics.

    • We need to brass tacks in order to finalize the project's budget.

      The phrase "brass tacks" means the basic essentials or core issues. In this context, it means that instead of discussing superfluous details, we need to focus on the necessary budgetary considerations in order to complete the project.

    • Let's brass tacks and figure out a way to streamline our operations.

      Here, we are saying that instead of discussing peripheral matters, we need to concentrate on the important matter of optimizing our procedures. This can help us to become more efficient and productive, which is essential for the success of our business.

    • We need to brass tacks and prioritize our tasks based on their importance.

      By prioritizing our tasks, we can focus on completing the essential tasks first, instead of wasting time on less critical tasks. This allows us to make the most of our time and resources, which is important for achieving our goals.

    • Let's brass tacks and identify the key factors that have contributed to our success so far.

      By identifying the key factors that have led to our success, we can build on our strengths and improve our weaknesses. This can help us to maintain our position in the market and continue to grow our business.


    The idiom "brass tacks - get down to" is commonly used to encourage someone to focus on the essential or practical aspects of a topic or situation. It can also be used to discourage someone from wasting time on irrelevant details or unrealistic approaches. This idiom is often used in a business or professional setting to emphasize the importance of being efficient and practical.

    Origin of "Brass tacks - get down to"

    The origin of this idiom is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 19th century. "Brass tacks" is a term used for the tacks or pins used to secure fabric to a piece of furniture, such as a sofa or chair. These tacks were often made of brass, a type of metal that is durable and long-lasting. This practical and essential use of brass tacks likely inspired the idiom's meaning of getting to the core or most important parts of a subject or situation.

    Another theory suggests that the idiom may have originated from the phrase "brass tax," which referred to a tax on certain items made of brass in the 1800s. This tax was seen as a necessary and practical measure, similar to the way the idiom is used to emphasize the importance of focusing on essential details.

    Regardless of its exact origins, "brass tacks - get down to" has become a commonly used idiom in modern English, emphasizing the importance of being practical and efficient in various situations.