To make a long story short

To make a long story short is an idiom rooted in ancient times. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom to make a long story short, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To make a long story short means to get directly to the important part of a narrative, to leave out unimportant or boring details in one’s story, to leave out irrelevant information. The expression to make a long story short is often shortened to simply, long story short. The phrase to make a long story short came into use in the 1800s. Henry David Thoreau wrote the following in a letter in 1857: “Not that the story need to be long, but it will take a long time to make it short.” The phrase was probably in use before this time. The idea of shortening a long-winded tale goes back thousands of years; the Roman writer, Pacuvius, wrote in 160 B.C.: “Ut multa paucis verba unose obnuntiem,” which roughly means say a lot in a few words.

Examples

To make a long story short, an investigative committee was formed to look into the discrepancies of the Edwards Wood Products Grant. (Laurinburg Exchange)

Well, to make a long story short, two student-athletes from Charles Marion Russell High School earned career high milestones on the very same night – Saturday, in fact – as the homestanding Rustlers pulled away from the Belgrade Panthers 64-45, their first Eastern AA win in the last five games. (Grand Falls Tribune)

When I got back into golf earlier this year—long story short, I picked up tennis in 2015, but then I tore my ACL, which eventually led me back to golf this year—I discovered that I was a calmer person. (Golf Digest)