Get To The Bottom Of Something Meaning


Get To The Bottom Of Something Meaning

Get to the bottom of it? What is “IT?” Is “it” a bag of chips? Is “it” a swimming pool? Is “it” a box of junk and you are looking for something? You might think any one of these would be “it.” In a literal sense, these all would be true but in a idiomatic sense it is more figurative.

We often use this idiomatic phrase when we are investigating something or someone and trying to find the truth to something.


When we use this phrase we use it to get an understanding or the cause of something. Often times it is in the context of an investigation or when someone does something wrong or something goes wrong. 

Example of “Get to the bottom of something”:

  • I know he is not telling the truth about why he was late for dinner. One way or another we are going to get to the bottom of this!
  • The FBI is not involved in the case an Agent Sewanso said he was confident that they will get to the bottom of the crime and someone will be held responsible.


Phil: He Phil! Long time no see!

Phoebe: Phil, wow you look great! What have you been doing to look so good?

Phil: Well believe it or not, I have not been doing a lot except drinking beer and eating twice a day!

Phoebe: Really? Beer?

Phil: Yep. I read an article that beer is good for you and it helps you lose weight!

Phoebe: No way! Fake news!

Phil: Seriously, it is true. I will email you the link.

Phoebe: Ok, well I will do some research of my own and get to the bottom of your mysterious weight loss! Beer! I don’t think so!

Phil: Speaking of getting to the bottom of something, I have a beer to finish, would you like to join me?

Other words you can create: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc (ex: mug – mugger)

Investigate, clarify, decipher, fathom, interpret, in the know, puzzle, untangle, cause, hidden, un seen, discover, disclose, reveal, expose, disclose, scrutinize.


One way or another, we are going to get to the bottom of this.

They will not get away with this, the auditors will get to the bottom of the company’s collapse.

Related phrasal verbs:

Figure out- we use this phrasal verb when we are expressing how to understand something or someone.  It is also used to describe solving something.

  • We need to figure out why this happened, one way or another we are going to get to the bottom of this problem.

Read up on- when we use this phrasal verb in this context, we are referring to researching or finding out information on something, or someone.

  • Ok, this doesn’t make any sense. I am going to read up on the issue and we will get to the bottom of your internet issue.

Found him out- when we use this phrasal verb we are referring to discovering someone’s character or intentions.

  • We finally got to the bottom of who made the threat, it was Bob.  He didn’t think we would find him out, but we did!

Check out- when we check out somebody or something we are investigating or determining a reason for something.

  • The teacher is going to check out his story, and get to the bottom of who actually wrote the essay.

Size up- when we size someone up we examine or carefully look into someone’s character.

  • After sizing him up, the board decided that they are going to get to the bottom of his statement.

Check up on- when we check up on someone or something we are usually verifying or determining truthfulness, in the context of get to the bottom of something.

  • Before we jump to any conclusions, we need to get to the bottom of who first heard the news and check up on their story.

See through- when we use see through in the context of get to the bottom of something, we are indicating we can see something that is un true or if someone is lying.

  • The therapist saw right through the man’s comments, and told him that they have to get to the bottom of why he is so sad all the time.

Related idioms:

Go over with a fine-tooth comb- this idiom refers to reviewing something in great detail.

Leave no stone unturned- this is a idiom we use to indicate that evidence or possibilities will be looked in to.

Look high and low- this is an idiom to suggest that someone will look at everything and everywhere to find an answer or solution.

Put through the wringer- we use this idiom to suggest that someone or something was scrutinized in great detail.

Beat the bushes- Beat the bushes is an idiom it indicate that someone search thoroughly for something or someone.

Synonyms (other ways to say):

We will get to the root cause.

We will find the origin of the issue.

We need to find the source of the information.

We need to get to the heart of the problem.


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