(Not to be confused with "to be done with stng")

I've seen several times the expression "to be done for", not followed by anything. Here is an example not so far from what I could actually read or hear:

- John, the boss wants you to send the client a complete proposal by 6 today.
- Gee... I'm done for. 

My understanding is that this means "I'm scr**d/ruined", and probably less derogatory than the first. Is this correct, and is this the only usage of this expression?

  • 2
    Agreed. As in "I'm finished", "The game's up for me". Feb 16, 2015 at 11:15
  • 2
    Dead, screwed, ruined, etc. Not "derogatory" per se, nor in any way obscene, but it does indicate an unhappy situation.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 16, 2015 at 12:31
  • 1
    Thanks for answering! Would any of you like to make an actual answer of this in a way I can mark it as accepted?
    – Shlublu
    Feb 16, 2015 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


It means, "I'm dead" or "I'm going to be killed."

In nineteenth-century England, the expression "I'll do for him" (no direct object) meant, "I'll murder him." My understanding is that it was considered a fairly coarse, lower-class expression. It may have been in use earlier, but that's the period from which I know it.

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