Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

jot or tittle

jot or tittle

Meaning

  • A very small amount.
  • A tiny portion of something.

Example Sentences

  1. I don’t want a jot or tittle of it, I want the whole thing.
  2. You can’t make it big with jots or tittles, you need a much bigger contract to survive in this industry.

Origin
The meaning of the words jot as well as tittle refer to small quantities of something. It has been used in the New Testament of the Holy Bible in 1526 by William Tindale’s translation. It appears in Matthew 5:18 as ‘iott or one tytle’. In the King James Version in 1611, the phrase appears as it is seen today. ‘Jot’ is the anglicized version of the Greek alphabet ‘iota’ which means small quantity (it is now very well used in the English language too). The word in Hebrew for the smallest letter of the square is ‘jod’ which is how the word ‘jot’ is speculated to have come into existence. When someone has to take down a brief note it is referred to as ‘jot it’.

In the modern day, the word ‘dot’ is used as a small round mark made by the point of the pencil / pen. In the earlier times the same was referred to as ‘tittle’. Jot was the line across the alphabet ‘T’ and tittle was the dot on ‘I’. Although the origination have speculations that are strong, the literary origin is unavailable.

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