Posted by Word Camel on August 28, 2003
In Reply to: "That's all she wrote" posted by R. Berg on August 28, 2003
: : : I found this in the archives from the dim and distant past. No one was able to come up with an origin then, but it's been preying on my mind recently because I kept hearing it in the song "One For the Road" recently while drving around in Maine(why is it only possible to find songs from the 70's on the radio when driving around on holiday?). Anyway, I thought it might be worth reprising just in case any newcomers might know.
: : : Thanks,
: : : Camelita
: : I don't know of a specific origin. Just, in general, letters used to be a big deal and were read aloud. The reader would end with "that's all she wrote."
: This query has come up before. The answer was that the phrase dates from World War II and refers to Dear John letters. If the letter stopped after "Dear John," and that's all she wrote, the relationship was over.
That's terrible! I didn't actually think that could be right, that's why I asked.