I've been listening to a podcast by a person who grew up in England, and he often uses the phrase "job done" to mean "that's that" or something similar.

I, however, having grown up in the United States, have never heard of "job done". I have heard of "job well done", but that phrase has a subtly different meaning to me. That being said, I guess they could be interchangeable. I'm a little unsure about it.

Are "job done" and "job well done" etymologically related, or are they just similar-looking phrases? Is my intuition that "job done" is not a popular phrase in the US true, or am I just biased due to my personal experience?

  • 1
    This topic is heading for closure, however, 'job done' is mainly used informally in conversation after describing some process or series of steps, and, as you perceive, just means 'that's it'. It is about completion, and carries no implication of praise or judgement of value. To repair a dripping tap ('faucet'), you turn off the water, remove the spout, remove the washer, replace the washer, replace the spout, turn on the water, check for leaks. That's it - [the] job [is] done. Nov 25 '19 at 22:43
  • etymologically related?
    – Lambie
    Nov 26 '19 at 1:46
  • @MichaelHarvey thanks for the clarification. But that doesn't answer the question about the origin of these two phrases. Also, why is this topic "heading for closure"? Nov 27 '19 at 6:23
  • @Lambie yes; do they have a related origin or are they just coincidentally similar? Nov 27 '19 at 6:24

They aren't the same.

"Job done" is said when the work has been finished. Sometimes, it is used informally to mean "the work is finished, but it wasn't worked on as hard as it could have been."

"Job well done" is the opposite of the informal meaning of "job done". It is used when the work has been finished, and it is very good.


The words job and done are the same words in both phrases.

The first means "The job is done (or finished)" The second means "It is a job that has been done well". The expression "job done" is not a shortening of "job well done".

It is like asking if "Fish and chips" and "Fish, pie and chips" are etymologically related. The question doesn't make much sense.

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