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I came across the idiom 'Done and dusted'. I would like to know what is the origin and meaning of this idiom.

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2 Answers 2

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Done and dusted

documents were signed in times past using pens dipped in ink, drying time could be considerable as the application of the ink varied so much. To speed things up an absorbent dust was sprinkled on the fresh writing, left momentarily, and then tipped off the sheet, allowing the document to be rolled or folded there and then, and carried off. Thus, a deal was considered finalized when it was "done and dusted". done and dusted

It is used to say that something has been successfully completed.

I hope our agreement is done and dusted sooner than we expect.

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+1 See also oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/…. –  Tragicomic Apr 30 at 9:44
    
You see Tywin Lannister doing this sometimes in Game of Thrones, lovely attention to detail. –  Rob Church Apr 30 at 10:41
    
There are also blotters applied to just-applied ink to soak up excess. I think I last saw this on some important treaty being signed. In both cases (dust and blotter), I believe the purpose is to remove excess ink, rather than making the ink dry faster. Corrections welcome. –  Phil Perry Apr 30 at 13:28
    
You missed the most important lines from your pasted text: "Anyone know the origin of the phrase 'done and dusted...? I came across this one, but can't verify." Do you have anything to help back up this claim? –  Hugo May 2 at 7:36
    
@ Hogo I have found the following, hope it can help. Origin & history Originally because writing with a wet ink pen needs to be blotted dry, and the original blotting method was pounce powder.wordsense.eu/done_and_dusted. –  Josh61 May 2 at 10:39

Done and dusted means something is completely finished.

The first citation in the OED is in the 20th century, long after the invention of the ballpoint pen.

1953 Brit. Bee Jrnl. 15 Oct. 669/1 All to be done and dusted before the National Honey Show. After this the grand clear up.

This lends doubt to the pen-and-ink and absorbent dust origin, especially as the quoted text from the other answer misses out the source's own doubt:

Anyone know the origin of the phrase 'done and dusted...?

I came across this one, but can't verify.

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It must come from a tired housewife's expression: "Everything's done and dusted. Finally, I can enjoy a cup of tea and watch a bit of telly" :) –  Mari-Lou A May 2 at 8:07
    
@Mari-Lou: Ha ha.. Nice way to put it. –  Mighty May 2 at 9:31
    
Mary-Lou, you are right :), let's hope the issue is set!! –  Josh61 May 2 at 10:49

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