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I was reading a question from another SE site — I fell for the sugar daddy scam:

So, long of the short. They offered to pay off my meager credit card debt. I was able to cancel all the payments but one. […]

What does “long of the short” mean?

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    Probably it's a variation of the idiom "the long and (the) short of it": used when making a statement that is brief and that tells someone only the most important parts of something
    – RubioRic
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 10:42
  • Not a "variation", an error based on mishearing. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 11:22
  • @MichaelHarvey I was not sure about that. It's totally incorrect then?
    – RubioRic
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 12:41
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    @RubrioRic, It could perhaps also be a mishearing of "to cut a long story short", but, yes, I believe it is a mistake. "The long of the short" doesn't make any sense. An abbreviated form of a longer story would surely be "the short of the long" but that does not exist in English either. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 14:44
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is based on a mishearing. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 22:18

2 Answers 2

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The idiom in English is "the long and the short of it". It means "brief summary that includes only the most important points". It is colloquial and perhaps a little dated.

Well, the long and the short of it: The company went bust and he lost his job. But it meant he had time to start his own business, and now he's doing better than ever.

The use in the post is likely an error. But it means the same, it introduces a short summary of the most important facts.

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The is a variation of the idiom "a long story short," which means rather than telling you the full details of what happened (the long story) he is just telling you a short summary of what happened. In this case it is the opposite - he is making a short story long - so, rather than giving you the brief summary, he is giving you the full details. Likely they are referring to the "short" story being the title of the question, and then the body being the long version.

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  • But the story reads like an abbreviated summary. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 14:47
  • This was also my initial guess, but "long of the short" doesn't appear in any of the dictionaries I looked into.
    – Flux
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 15:17
  • @Flux - it won't appear in any dictionary, because it's an error. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 18:05

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