Prompted by comments to this question on English Learners (about "That's you done"), I've been searching Google Books for similar constructions of the general form that's [pro]noun adjective (for this context, I classify past-tense verb forms such as done, fucked, finished as adjectives).

What I seem to be finding is that using "That's" in this way (not referencing anything in particular, just "whatever came before/caused the current situation") is a relatively recent phenomenon.

I'm also getting the impression it's more common in BrE than Ame. So by implication, if the boss says to his secretary...

"Just get those letters off in the post, and that's you done for the day."

...I should assume the boss is probably British, rather than American.

Would my assumption be right? Can anyone shed more light on the usage? Is it the same as...

"Here's me doing all the work while you just sit around waiting to be fed."
(said by, for example, hard-pressed mother to idle teenage offspring)

  • Some people in Australia say 'that's you done' or 'me done' etc. But I don't hear it that often either. Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 6:33
  • That doesn't sound very familiar to my AmE ears, but saying, for example, "That's me" while pointing to my beer among a table full of drinks is quite normal.
    – tylerharms
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 6:46
  • Agreed that if this is an Americanism, it's one I've never heard. In your last example, I feel like the hard-pressed American mother would more likely say, "Here I am, doing all the hard work..."
    – user13141
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 7:55
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    This kind of construction is commonly heard in Britain, and especially Scotland, where something like "that's me done" is even shortened to just "that's me", e.g. "Right, that's me, I'm off!" Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 8:23
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    @FF: I think it's probably a dream sequence style narrative where Michael Stipe is reflecting on himself from a disembodied standpoint.
    – tylerharms
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


FF, the "that's you done" structure is very British. I consider it essentially unknown in AmE. Just the opinion of someone who has spoken to (literally) hundreds of thousands of people (don't ask why) over the course of many decades.

The Stipe/Simon lyrics are, again in my opinion, merely stylizations intended to draw attention to the person speaking, in the same way one would say "that's me" when pointing to a picture of oneself. They do not equate to the usage that occasioned your initial question.

And I have my own question about the fascinating yet baffling comment concerning Dickens... is that facetious, or what?

  • Dunno exactly what happened re the comment - maybe I and/or Steve Blinder got mixed up with this ELL question, where I said Dickens habitually wrote "wos" instead of "was" when transcribing the reported speech of lower-class characters. Which I seriously doubt meaningfully reflects any specific variant of "standard pronunciation". It's just that anyone capable of reading the book in the first place can't avoid recognising the misspelling, reminding them the speaker is uneducated/coarse spoken. Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 13:56

In America, the phrase, "That's me out, then" with slight variations, relates directly to card playing, usually folding in poker. So, originally, the references (object?) of "that's" was quite clear in context.

"That's all for me today" is also quite common, although not quite the construction you're looking at.

The "here's me doing..." type phrase shows up in the speech of some people in the rural deep south but they have a lot of Old English language patterns as the region tended to be somewhat isolated before electronic media and the had very little immigration.

I would hazard that you find that these phrases always have the speaker as the object. Saying the same thing to someone else would sound dominating and rude to most Americans.

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