Today's comic for Piled Higher and Deeper (PHd Comics) posed a question:

I've reached the point where I have to start writing or I'm not going to finish on time. The point where... Hmm, I wonder if there's a name for reaching that point.

So I pose the question for all of you. Is there a word for reaching that point where, if you don't start now, you'll never be able to finish.

  • 2
    This seems like related question: Word for Point of No Return...That said, this question is asking for a word for reaching the point of no return, rather than for the point of no return itself.
    – Doc
    Jul 28, 2018 at 4:53
  • Assuming that the name of the point is rubicon (as per the answer to the other question), then what's wrong with I've reached the rubicon? In other words, what's wrong with the word reach itself? Jul 28, 2018 at 5:51
  • Are you looking for the word "threshold"?oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/…
    – Arun
    Jul 28, 2018 at 7:43
  • 1
    In case anyone hasn't actually followed the link to the comic, you should: it makes this question very "meta".
    – user184130
    Jul 29, 2018 at 8:46
  • What does your research show? Jul 29, 2018 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


I like Rubicon as a first choice; however, other options might include: fulcrum, watershed, tipping point, or turning point—although there are nuances to each that might miss your intended meaning, the way I read your question. Another possibility is "I've reached the point where I have to start writing, or the die is cast."

This leads to the luscious (because it feels like velvet rolling off the tongue) French rendition as well: "Les jeux sont faits" as well as—if you'll indulge my nerding out a bit—the Latin expression attributed to Caesar as he crossed the aforementioned Rubicon, "Alea iacta est" or "[Iacta alea est]"1 depending on preference for emphasis.

  • Doesn't your "die" example rather mix cases? Should it be, "I've reached the point where I have to start writing, or the die will be cast"?
    – user184130
    Jul 29, 2018 at 8:48
  • Thank you, James, that is a great question! I considered whether both things were happening simultaneously or as cause-and-effect in progression. What think you? If one has already reached the point, then hasn't the die, in effect, been cast? Tense junkies, anyone?
    – Verbiwhore
    Jul 29, 2018 at 15:48

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