"The This and the That" is an expression used to summarize key points in a conversation without actually saying what "this" is or what "that" is. Using the phrase assumes the audience knows what "this and the that" refers to, or they can infer from the rest of the conversation. Can expedite a conversation rapidly to get to the point.

It is customary to follow the phase "a this and the that" with the "that and the this," - everyone gets it.
I'm late for work but it's because the kids were whining, dogs needed walking, dishes left out overnight, the this and the that... and the that and the this... I'm an hour late!
by Fun&Nice August 11, 2014

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