short and sweet

Idioms & Phrases

short and sweet

Satisfyingly brief and pertinent, as in When we asked about the coming merger, the chairman's answer was short and sweetit wasn't going to happen. This expression was already proverbial in 1539, when it appeared in Richard Taverner's translation of Erasmus's Adagia. Over the years it was occasionally amplified, as in James Kelly's Scottish Proverbs (1721): "Better short and sweet than long and lax."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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