What is an idiom of:

"I have just finished a great job and I'm extremely proud of that"

For example, I had been building a house for 20 years and finally built it (and want everybody to know)

I thought "I've done it!" will do, but Google seems not to confirm that. Is there a simple idiom (just an exclamation)?

  • 4
    Try “I did it!” (instead of “I’ve done it!”) and see if you get better results.
    – J.R.
    May 12, 2018 at 12:14
  • 1
    Say, I had been building a house for 20 years and finally built it
    – Serguei
    May 12, 2018 at 14:43
  • 3
    @Serguei: You should have edited that "clarifying" information into your actual question text. I don't think nailing it would normally be used in the context of finally finishing something so protracted. But this related ELU question essentially confirms my opinion that we don't really have any obvious, widely-recognised idiomatic way of succinctly expressing exactly what you seem to want to say. May 12, 2018 at 16:08
  • 1
    For a long, protracted project that's taken years to complete, the answers will be different than for a more immediate accomplishment. (Ah, question edited while I was commenting. FumbleFingers is right, there isn't really a pithy way to say this that doesn't also have lots of other meanings.)
    – barbecue
    May 12, 2018 at 16:33
  • 5
    It’s worth pointing out that most of the answers below were posted before you edited your question. I wouldn’t use smashed, nailed, voila, or there you go for something that took 20 years. Too bad you withheld that crucial piece of information for so long.
    – J.R.
    May 12, 2018 at 22:13

11 Answers 11


From AussieEnglish.com (but as they say in that link, it would be familiar to Anglophones everywhere)...

to nail [it / something]
if you nail something or you nail it in a figurative sense it means that you have completed a task successfully, perfectly, impressively, or you’ve gotten something correct, you know, you’ve gotten something right.

Note - using this idiomatic expression (as in I've nailed that tricky job) doesn't inherently include the sense of ...and I'm proud of having done so, but in practice that would always be implicit.

enter image description here

  • 8
    Be aware that this phrase is also often used sarcastically.
    – MooseBoys
    May 12, 2018 at 19:40
  • I might have answered or added "mic drop", but that seems to be a faddish saying that has fallen or is falling out of favor. Other than that, this is an excellent answer. May 13, 2018 at 1:41
  • Nowadays, I see this expression most often in the context of Pinterest fails, but it might actually work for a literal building project with the appropriate imagery. Something like "Nailed it! (And sanded it and plumbed it and electrified it and painted it...)" would make a great housewarming invitation for your finally-finished home.
    – 1006a
    May 13, 2018 at 21:14

In English we use a French word:


In context, its meaning is something like "I've done something pretty good, if I don't say so myself!" or "What I've done is admirable, wouldn't you agree!"

You will actually encounter the word spelled wa-la by speakers who have heard it used but have never read it, or if they have read it, have not recognized it.

  • 2
    I only really know non-negated [even] if I say so myself!. I can't say including do really strikes me as odd, but the negation certainly does. Is it an AmE/BrE usage split, or perhaps "regional, dialectal"? May 12, 2018 at 14:42
  • @FumbleFingers: Not sure. Here's a Brit (I believe, though possibly not) who claims that you Brits do say "If I don't say so myself" and an American who doesn't understand that phrase as I do, as set forth in my answer. forum.wordreference.com/threads/if-i-dont-say-so-myself.388206
    – TimR
    May 12, 2018 at 17:28
  • User Gwennhadu there, who self-identified as "UK English" in his post, specifically says he's always heard it as "non-negated". The one who says "negated or not, they mean the same" is user Isp, whose profile says he's based in NY and deals in US English. I see Google Books claims over a thousand instances of even though I say so myself, but none at all for even though I don't say so myself (which in some contexts makes sense!). May 12, 2018 at 17:57
  • 1
    even though is not the same as if here...
    – TimR
    May 12, 2018 at 20:23
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) has 22 examples of affirmative if I say so myself, 60 examples of affirmative if I do say so myself with do-support for emphatic polarity, but only 2 examples of negative if I don't say so myself. So if you don't negate it much over there, I don't think it's an AmE/BrE split. I don't recall ever having heard the negated version before.
    – user230
    May 12, 2018 at 21:41

In British casual usage, to emphasise that the task was not merely completed (as "I've done it" might be taken to mean) but done well in a way satisfying to the speaker, people might say I've aced it, I've smashed it, and further intensification is possible by preceding the verb with 'totally', 'completely', etc.

8 guaranteed ways to totally smash your ‘to do’ list in 2015

How I Smashed Out My Christmas Shopping In Two Hours

Since starting with Sustain, I've totally smashed my goals

his sassy kid totally aced his maths test

  • 1
    I would totally avoid totally. At least in the US, it’s become overused and hackneyed. (It’s found in this list of 12, this list of 9, and this list of 5 utterly overused words.)
    – J.R.
    May 12, 2018 at 12:25
  • 1
    Yes, I utterly agree. May 12, 2018 at 13:21
  • 2
    "Crushed it" is another variation, but possibly already outdated. Still, if you're over a certain age, it doesn't matter if you use outdated slang because you already have no hope of being cool. :)
    – Andrew
    May 12, 2018 at 14:16

If I have just completed a twenty-year task, my exclamation would most likely be "Finally!", or perhaps "At last!"

If it's not a long, protracted project then the phrases like "Nailed it!" or even "Yesss" would be appropriate. On short-term achievements I occasionally say "D*mn, I'm good!"

  • 1
    "Yesss" is quite close to what I'm looking for, but you probably wouldn't send a letter with that single word to your friend
    – Serguei
    May 12, 2018 at 22:58
  • In yet another register, "F**k yeah!" would convey the described feeling pretty well. May 14, 2018 at 11:50

there you go:

You're doing that well or correctly; nice job.


There you go! I knew you'd get the hang of it eventually!

This is the context provided by the OP:

Say, I had been building a house for 20 years and finally built it

Well, then in that case, you could say something like this:

Finally done!


With the caveat that it has acquired an ironic connotation, mission accomplished is appropriate for completing a long effort.


"I've done it!" has exactly the meaning you are looking for.

In American English, we don't have much in the way of idioms for this, as the previously answers demonstrate: "nailed it" is Australian, I gather "done and dusted" is British, and "voila", from the French, is not really conventional English usage for what you have in mind.

When I completed the requirements for my graduate degree, and got the letter saying I had been approved for graduation, I posted to social networking the single word "Approved" and a photo of the letter. Everyone got it, and the congratulations came pouring in. There was no idiom that struck me as more appropriate than that.

  • 1
    I disagree about the lack of conventional idioms. I'm from the PNW and regularly hear both "nailed it" and "voila". The origin of a phrase doesn't make its use unconventional. May 13, 2018 at 19:47
  • 1
    From the Southwest US, and I can second @JamesMartin... "Nailed it!" and "Voilà!" are, if not used on a daily basis (YMMV), immediately recognizable. "Done and dusted," on the other hand... sounds very British ;) May 13, 2018 at 20:29

(It's) done and dusted.‎ ‎

adjective, not comparable

‎ (Britain, idiomatic, of a task) Completed thoroughly and satisfactorily.



My Dad would always say "that was a home run" after finishing a big project well or faster than expected. Obviously, this comes from baseball.



As SE doesn't like pithy answers, I'll share a story of my late friend 'Kip' Carpenter, creator of the 'Catweazle' character and TV series. He was looking for a wrap-up line for another script. Eventually someone suggested 'Sorted!'. And it was.



You raise your fist to the sky and shout "Excelsior!" It's an English modification of a Latin word and has been used for more than two centuries.

  • Will a stranger understand that it's me (or my achievement) are Excelsior, not anybody/anything else?
    – Serguei
    May 12, 2018 at 20:34
  • 1
    It's not an adjective, but rather simply an exclamation. It popped out of my memory as a cry of glory. These days it would seem rather quaint, with more than a little humor, but that wouldn't make it any less powerful. It sounds much less egotistical than saying "I've done it!"
    – user68607
    May 12, 2018 at 22:07
  • 1
    "Excelsior" means "higher" or "ever higher". It doesn't feel appropriate in this context at all, IMHO. May 13, 2018 at 1:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .