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October 27, 2012

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john

True Susan, in that it is a fairly common expression here. From my experience, I'd say its usage is about the same as "done and dusted". It is probably used with the same frequency also.

Virtual Linguist

Thanks, John. When I wrote the post I tried to think of the British equivalent. I thought of 'done and dusted', which does mean 'completely finished', but you could use that phrase in the future eg 'When this report is finally done and dusted, we'll go for a slap-up meal', but I don't know that you could do that with 'and that's all she wrote'.

john

"....and that'll be all she wrote!"

That's actually fairly common, Susan, although as you suggest the root expression is probabaly used with respect to the present or past.

I think you're also correct in that "done and dusted" could be either preceded or followed by another expression. "...all she wrote" could only be preceded, and even that might be very clumsy.

Thought-provoking as always.

Virtual Linguist

Thanks, John. The 'that'll be all she wrote' variant hasn't yet made it to the OED!

Jemmy Hope

When I was a kid (so long ago) adults explaining something to us would often wind up with the catchphrase "... and Bob's your uncle."

Virtual Linguist

Thanks, Jemmy. I had a teacher who said '... and Bob's your uncle' all the time, too. I thought of this phrase while writing the post, but the OED suggests it's said of positive things - their definition is 'everything's all right'. When I thought about it, I could only remember people saying it in positive situations.

Jemmy Hope

On reflection,Susan,your explanation rings true.

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