Nitty-gritty redux

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Thu Jan 22 09:44:31 UTC 2004

Douglas G. Wilson commented:

> >... along comes a nitty gritty gator in a cattle train ...
> But what does it mean?

Jonathon Green's slang dictionary provides the needed glosses:

gator = a person considered to be in the swing of things
cattle train = Cadillac

>From these, and a brief summary attached, it seems that at this point
the young lady of the story gets a ride in a car (the summary says it
is a new car). The implication would seem to be that "nitty gritty"
here is a term of approbation.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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