There is an expression I came across recently — 'The take home is ...'. The full sentence was:

The take home is that regular use of caffeine produces no benefit to alertness, energy, or function.

Can anyone explain what the beginning of the sentence means? And does it have something in common with another expression, "to drive your point home"?

2 Answers 2


The take-home or the take-away of something is its most important point or lesson. It's the one part you should carry (home) with you to remember.

Edit: As Sam correctly notes, the origin of this phrase lies in the amount of your salary you take home after taxes, etc., have been deducted.

  • 1
    In the same vein, take-home pay, refers to the amount of your salary that you would literally take home after taxes and insurance and such were removed.
    – Sam
    Oct 10, 2011 at 3:57
  • @Sam Quite right. I've added that in.
    – user13141
    Oct 10, 2011 at 8:18
  • I suppose it's rather like 'the bottom line'. Oct 10, 2011 at 8:55
  • I think definitionally, absolutely, but I tend to see them used in quite different contexts. A professor could end an explanation with "The take-home is...", whereas "The bottom line is..." is often said with some insistence/frustration during a negotiation or a disagreement.
    – user13141
    Oct 10, 2011 at 9:53
  • @onomatomaniak not necessarily. Something might 'affect the bottom line', or you might say 'what's the bottom line?' both without a negative connotation.
    – Sam
    Oct 10, 2011 at 21:39

" Take homes" can also mean the prescription drug you take home with you from a substance abuse clinic, such as methadone or buprenorphine(subutex).

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