Leaving aside the strong sexual connotations of the lyrics of Pulp's song "This Is Hardcore", I was wondering what is the figurative meaning of the expression the author used:

"This is the end of the line"

I thought it could be "this is it" or also could mean "I am putting an end to this", but I am not sure.

I was curious about the possible uses of the phrase, not only this particular case (ie, this lyrics).

Also, I would like to know about the literal meaning. Is it refering to a drawn line? A spoken line?


2 Answers 2


In the context of the song, it seems to mean something like "it doesn't get better than this." That's not typically what the expression means.

Wiktionary has these definitions:

  1. The termination point of a railway or similar transportation system.
  2. (idiomatic) Final cessation or discontinuance of a process, institution, or person, especially one which has existed for a considerable period of time; death.

You would typically use it to mean that whatever you're engaged in is over, has run its course, there's nowhere else for it to go. Dictionary.com gives the examples of a presidency term (s/he could never get re-elected) or a TV serial (declining viewership, it's time to stop the show).

  • It could also mean that the singer can stop looking for love now, he's found it.
    – JAM
    Jun 15, 2012 at 14:57

It referred to a railroad line originally, the last stop being the "end of the line".

  • 2
    On [Caltrain|caltrain.com/] the other day, I finally got a joke that puzzled me as a child in Colorado: A passenger on a west-bound train asks the conductor, "Do we stop in San Francisco?" The conductor answers, "If we don't, there'll be a big splash." Jun 15, 2012 at 15:42

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