call it a day

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Earlier call it half a day, first attested in 1838, meaning to leave before the working day was over.


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call it a day (third-person singular simple present calls it a day, present participle calling it a day, simple past and past participle called it a day)

  1. (idiomatic) To cease the activity for the day. [from 1919]
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter VIII:
      “Do you often go looking for mice in other people's rooms?” “I wouldn't say often. Just when the spirit moves me, don't you know?” “I see. Well...” When people say “Well” to you like that, it usually means that they think you are outstaying your welcome and that the time has come to call it a day. She felt, I could see, that Woosters were not required in her son's sleeping apartment []
    We have been at this for hours; let's call it a day and come back tomorrow when we are fresh.
  2. (idiomatic) To retire.
    After suffering massive losses for three years in a row, the boss decided to call it a day, and sold his company.


Related terms[edit]