Jot And Tittle
These are two markings in written Hebrew. They are very small – a jot is the smallest letter, and a tittle is just an accent.
It has come to signify something very small, or every last detail of something.
Why I Looked It Up
My mother often mentioned Matthew 5:18 (King James):
For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The message was that no words of the Bible shall ever be changed.
Different translations say different things here, along a common theme.
- “not even the smallest detail” (New Living)
- “not an iota, not a dot” (English Standard)
- “not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter” (Holman Christian Standard)
Then, in a novel, I encountered it again:
The man poured over every jot and tittle of the contract…