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slim pickings

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A small amount left after others have taken a share. For example, After each of the children took what they wanted of Mother's things, it was slim pickings for the rest of the family. This expression alludes to animals devouring a carcass. [Early 1600s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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