I was interested in the phrase, “people with a “little bit of grit under their fingernails” appearing in the New Yorker magazine’s (March 14) article titled, “American Ads, American Values.” It reads;
“In an interview with Michael McCarthy, of Ad Age, Cadillac’s advertising director, Craig Bierley, said that “Poolside” was pitched at consumers who earn around two hundred thousand dollars a year, people with a “little bit of grit under their fingernails” who “pop in and out of luxury.” He also said, “These are people who haven’t been given anything. Every part of success they’ve achieved has been earned through hard work and hustle.” http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2014/03/american-ads-american-values.html
I surmise ‘have grit” means “have courage / guts.” Though it sounds “catchy “as an ad director’s parlance, I wonder if “have a little bit of grit under one’s fingernails” is common phrase or not.
Is “under one’s fingernails” acknowledged suffix to “a bit of grit,” or just an optional use?