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"Done For"

Posted by Shacheendra on January 27, 2003

In Reply to: "Done For" posted by R. Berg on January 26, 2003

: : Hello, I was just wondering if any one might know the origin of the phrase "done for", meaning "beaten" or "doomed". Thanks in advance for any information.

: The Oxford English Dictionary lists this under the phrase "do for," defined as "to ruin, damage, or injure fatally, destroy, wear out entirely," colloquial. Early quotations: "He said he would do for him . . . and other wicked, bad words" (Fielding, 1752). "The Kent is almost done for, and she is going to Malta" (Nelson, 1803).