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Ah yes

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 15, 2004

In Reply to: Ah yes posted by Lotg on March 15, 2004

: : : : I know what it means - where does it come from? Any ideas?

: : : Is this not one of those phrases that falls into the same category as 'wash your hands', it simply means what it says and is an arrangement of words that has probably arisen spontaneously in thousands of different, and unconnected, places and times.

: : It's usually - When all is said and done.

: Now that you mention it, that does sound right. And it makes more sense.

And when it's all said and done,
There's only one
Girl of my dreams, it's you!

Color me contrarian, but I don't subscribe to spontaneous generation in the case of this phrase. It's too artful. Like the alphabet. How many times was the alphabet, or some system of writing, independently invented? Four? "When all's said and done" is just not the sort of thing people say without having heard it before. Sure, you can change things, like "done and said" instead of "said and done." Or "after all's said and done." But I don't think we'll ever know who said it first.

When all is done and said, in the end thus shall you find,
He most of all doth bathe in bliss that hath a quiet mind;
And, clear from worldly care, to deem can be content
The sweetest time in all his life in thinking to be spent.
Thomas, Lord Vaux, 1576. SS