Get Down to Brass Tacks

Get down to brass tacks is an idiom used in English since the late 19th century.

Meaning of Idiom ‘Get Down to Brass Tacks’

To get down to brass tacks means to start discussing the most important and crucial aspects of or facts of a problem or situation; to skip over pleasantries or unimportant details or theories and ‘get right to the heart of the matter.’

Get right to the heart of the matter and get down to the nitty-gritty are both synonyms.

Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to my YouTube channel!


Brass tacks is sometimes used alone as an adjective idiom such as in the expression “brass tacks issue.”

Examples of Use

“I always go to the same car dealership. The salesmen there don’t mess around; they like to get right down to brass tacks.”

“I’ve heard all the theories, gentlemen,” said the CEO, “now it’s time to get down to brass tacks.”

“It’s time to get down to brass tacks. Is he a suspect or not?” said the investigator.


The origin of the expression “getting down to brass tacks” is thought to have originated in brass tacks that were placed at one-yard intervals along shop counters, in the days of dry goods stores where not only groceries were sold, but basic supplies including cloth. The tacks were there as a quick measuring system, so to ‘get down to brass tacks’ was to measure accurately and quickly.

More Idioms Starting with G

More Brass Idioms

More Down Idioms

This page contains one or more affiliate links. See full affiliate disclosure.