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Old 09 April 2008, 07:00 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
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I've been reading a book debunking various word myths (Word Myths, by David Wilton), and the myth about "nitty gritty" is covered there. The phrase originated in the 1950s. It's just a bit of rhyme -- nitty was probably added just to rhyme with gritty, as was done with similar sounding phrases like "namby pamby."

ETA: There's a really thorough debunking of the "rule of thumb" myth by Wilton here: http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/more/489/

erwins
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