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dot the i's and cross the t's

Slang definitions & phrases for dot the i's and cross the t's

dot the i's and cross the t's

verb phrase

To work meticulously, esp to make something clear and accurate: Extraneous to my investigation, but I like to dot the i's and cross the t's (1885+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with dot the i's and cross the t's

dot the i's and cross the t's

Be meticulous and precise, fill in all the particulars, as in Laura had dotted all the i's and crossed the t's, so she wondered what she'd done wrong. This expression presumably began as an admonition to schoolchildren to write carefully and is sometimes shortened. William Makepeace Thackeray had it in a magazine article (Scribner's Magazine, 1849): “I have . . . dotted the i's.” [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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