What does the idiom "call it quits" mean?

The expression call it quits is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the call it quits idiom.

Meaning of "call it quits"


The idiom 'call it quits' is used to indicate the end of an activity or relationship. It suggests that both parties involved have come to a mutual agreement and are no longer pursuidng the cause or idea. It can be used in a business context to suggest an end to the negotiations, or in a relationship suggesting that two people have decided to part ways.


This phrase is believed to be derived from the traditional game of 'Quits' - a game that is typically played between two people where they take turns at flipping a coin, each person calling either 'heads' or 'tails'. If an agreement has been reached and both players call the same result, the game is ended and the other person is declared the winner. The phrase 'call it quits' is used to indicate the same agreement in other contexts.


The idiom 'call it quits' is commonly used to signify the end of a project, agreement or relationship. It is typically used in conversations when one person or party feels that the current issue has been resolved and there is no need to continue pursuing it. The phrase can also indicate that one person or party feels that the current situation no longer serves their interests and they are ready to move on.

Example Sentences

  • After months of negotiations, the two companies finally called it quits and agreed to a deal.
  • We had been having issues for a while, so we decided to call it quits and go our separate ways.
  • He failed to meet the deadline so I told him it was time to call it quits.

The meanings of the words in the "call it quits" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.


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