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#207038 - 09/08/12 09:22 PM done for
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
I wrote a note recently in which I said somebody was "done for". In other words, he's reached the end of his line, the jump off point.

Voilą, all euphamisms aside, the gent is dying. But I realize, I said, he's "done for" instead of "he's dying".

Where did that expression come from, do you think?

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#207048 - 09/09/12 07:06 AM Re: done for [Re: belMarduk]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
I dont know (where it comes from) but I know it well.

'done for' also could mean caught...doing something illegal, like by police.

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#207053 - 09/09/12 11:48 AM Re: done for [Re: Candy]
jenny jenny Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 1554
Loc: Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
In Mississippi we say "done for" when we mean "done for good".
Maybeso the unspoken "good" adds finality as does "done for sure".
And maybeso "done for God" was once a religious phrase used at funerals which later transmuted into "done for good". But "done for good" is semantically illogical so we say "done for" with the "good" serving as an unspoken intensifier of "done".

Or maybe not. smile

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#207066 - 09/09/12 06:42 PM Re: done for [Re: belMarduk]
Tromboniator Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 845
Loc: Alaska
My interpretation of the phrase, with absolutely no authoritative backup, is that it relates to "doing for" someone in the sense of domestic service, as a valet or a lady's maid: "Robert was hired to do for Mr. Halt-Rodney." When one is "done for," all possible service has been rendered, further service is neither necessary nor possible.

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