What does the idiom "Call it a day" mean?

Are you using the idiom Call it a day but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the Call it a day idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "Call it a day"


The idiom "call it a day" is used when someone wants to end a given activity or task and move on to something else. In this way, it is similar to the phrase "give it a rest" or "move on". This phrase can also be used when someone wants to take a break from an arduous or difficult task, or to indicate that they have accomplished a task.


The phrase "call it a day" is believed to have originated in the early 19th century. It was first used in print in 1821, in a book called "Peter Parley's Universal History", by American author Samuel Griswold Goodrich. It is thought that the phrase was originally used to refer to the end of the work day, and then came to be used more generally to indicate when it was time to move on from a particular task or activity.


The phrase "call it a day" is often used in casual conversation, both in spoken and written form. It is typically used when someone wants to either bring an activity or task to a close, or just take a break from whatever they are doing. It can also be used to signal that a given task has been completed.

Example Sentences

  • I think it's time to call it a day - I've done enough work for today.
  • We've been working on this project for hours - why don't we call it a day and pick up tomorrow?
  • We've got the report finished, so I think we can call it a day now.

The meanings of the words in the "Call it a day" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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