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Re: Gone for good (and all)

Posted by R. Berg on August 30, 2001

In Reply to: Gone forever posted by James Briggs on August 30, 2001

: 'Gone forever' has a fairly obvious meaning - disappeared for all time. How come 'gone for good' means the same thing? Thanks.

Within the five pages that the OED devotes to "good" is a treatment of the phrase "for good (and all)." Definition: "As a valid conclusion; hence, as a final act, finally."
Quotations include these:
15.. (Parl. Byrdes) Than desyred all the Byrdes great and smal to mewe the hauke for good and all.
1687 (Congreve) Ay, you may take him for good-and-all if you will.
1711 (Swift) 4 July, This day I left Chelsea for good, (that's a genteel phrase).
1850 (J. H. Newman) Throw off, for good and all, the illusions of your intellect.
1882 (W. E. Forster) This morning we released Parnell--not for good, but on parole.