That's A Wrap: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 21, 2023

The idiomatic expression "That's a wrap" is an intriguing piece of vernacular English that is employed to signify the conclusion of an event, activity, or project. The phrase is commonly used in everyday conversation. It carries a theatrical or dramatic flair to its delivery, giving a sense of finality and completeness to the situation it is referring to.

In short:

"That's a wrap" means that something has come to an end or been completed.

What Does "That's a Wrap" Mean?

Originating from the film industry, the idiom "That's a wrap" conveys the end of an event, task, or period. Just as this phrase signifies the completion of a film shoot, it's also used metaphorically in daily life. The director or producer would traditionally announce "That's a wrap" at the end of filming, signaling to the crew that all scenes had been captured. It was time to pack up and conclude the day's work. This announcement was typically met with applause and celebration, signifying the successful end of a long and often arduous filming process.

  • Often used in the professional realm: The phrase is commonly employed to suggest the conclusion of a meeting, project, or a day's work.
  • Variations: Some variants of the phrase include "it's a wrap" or simply "a wrap."
  • Related Expressions: Idioms such as "it's all over but the shouting" and "the end of the line" convey similar connotations of closure and finality.

Where Does "That's a Wrap" Come From?

The idiom "That's a wrap" has its roots firmly planted in the world of cinema. Originating from the world of cinema and television production, "That's a Wrap" has made its way into everyday English language use. The term "wrap" is an acronym for "Wind, Reel, and Print," a phrase commonly used during the film industry's early days when a shoot concluded. It has been a standard phrase used by film directors to signify the end of filming. In historical context, the term "wrap" is short for "wrap-up," which was used in the film industry as early as the 1920s to denote the end of filming. While there is no written record of its earliest use, the phrase has been integral to film vocabulary for decades.

Historical Example

"When we were filming 'Psycho,' there was a palpable sense of relief and accomplishment each time Hitchcock announced, That's a wrap." 

- Janet Leigh, Actress

"The moment we completed the Apollo 11 mission, it felt as if someone should have said, That's a wrap." 

- Neil Armstrong, Astronaut

10 Examples of "That's a Wrap" in Sentences

Here are 10 sentences showing the usage of the idiom in various contexts:

  • We finished the final scene of our play. That's a wrap!
  • After organizing the successful event, Jane, the social butterfly, exclaimed, That's a wrap!
  • We've reached our fundraising goal. It's a wrap!
  • With the launch of our new product, that's a wrap on our project.
  • After finishing the final scene, the director shouted, "That's a wrap!" and the actors knew they were good to go.
  • It's a wrap of our football season with an incredible final match.
  • After the successful completion of the project, the director exclaimed, That's a wrap! And the team responded you are more than welcome!
  • Our three-day workshop was a success. That's a wrap!
  • After successfully completing the final scene, the director shouted, That's a wrap! And encouraged the team to move forward to their next project.
  • With the last piece of furniture moved in, that's a wrap on our house move.

Examples of "That's a Wrap" in Pop Culture

The phrase has made numerous appearances in various forms of media and entertainment:

  • In the 1983 film "Staying Alive," director Laura shouts, "That's a wrap!" when they finish a scene.
  • During the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, host Jimmy Fallon exclaimed, "That's a wrap!" as the show concluded.
  • In the popular sitcom "Friends," Joey Tribbiani, playing a fictional character in a soap opera, uses the term "That's a wrap" when filming concludes.
  • The 2011 documentary about the film industry, directed by Mark Schimmel, is titled "That's a Wrap."
  • In an episode of the animated series "Family Guy," director Peter Griffin announces, "That's a wrap" after finishing filming a scene.
  • In the song "Show Business" by A Tribe Called Quest, they use the line, "Once my rhyme gets going, it's definitely not a wack rap, so I guess that's a wrap."
  • Marvel Studios' series "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" released a poster on social media with the caption "That's a wrap" after they finished filming.
  • In the final episode of the Netflix series "The Crown," the character Queen Elizabeth II could very well have said, "That's a wrap" as her Silver Jubilee concludes.

Other Ways to Say "That's a Wrap" in Sentences

You could use several other phrases instead of the idiom "That's a Wrap."

Some of these include:

  • We've finished our project. It's all over but the shouting.
  • We've reached the end of our journey. It's the end of the line.
  • The party has ended. We've reached the end of the road.
  • The conference has concluded. We've crossed the finish line.
  • Our production is over. It's curtains.
  • We've completed our tour. It's the last stop.
  • The meeting is done. It's the bottom of the ninth.
  • Our training is completed. It's the end of an era.
  • We've successfully held our event. It's the final act.
  • The vacation is over. It's the close of play.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “That's a Wrap”:

  • What does "That's a wrap" mean?

It signifies the conclusion of an event, activity, or project.

  • Where did "That's a wrap" originate?

It originated in the film industry, used by directors to signify the end of filming.

  • Can "That's a wrap" be used outside of the film industry?

Yes, it's often used to indicate the end of any event or task, not just filming.

  • Does the phrase have any synonyms?

Yes, expressions like "it's all over but the shouting" or "the end of the line" can be used similarly.

  • What's the tone of "That's a wrap"?

It carries a light, casual tone but conveys a clear sense of conclusion.

  • Does the phrase have any variations?

Yes, some variants of the phrase include "it's a wrap" or simply "a wrap".

  • Is "That's a wrap" commonly used?

Yes, it's a common idiomatic phrase used in everyday English.

  • Can "That's a wrap" be used in formal settings?

While it's mostly informal, it can be used in professional settings like meetings or project completion announcements.

  • How has "That's a wrap" been used in pop culture?

The idiom has been referenced in films, TV shows, commercials, music videos, podcasts, and books.

  • What's the impact of using "That's a wrap" in a conversation?

It adds a dramatic flair to the conversation and vividly conveys the idea of something coming to an end.

Final Thoughts About “That's a Wrap”

"That's a wrap" is an impactful idiom that adds a colorful, final touch to conversations. Its use extends far beyond its original context in the film industry and has become a staple expression in everyday language. Using idioms like "That's a wrap" can enrich our communication by adding depth and cultural resonance. Its dramatic connotation makes it a powerful phrase to mark the end of events, making our language more lively and vibrant.

  • It's meaning: "That's a wrap" denotes the conclusion of an event, task, or project.
  • Its origins: It was born in the world of cinema and has since spread to mainstream usage.
  • Its versatility: The phrase can be used in various contexts, both professional and personal.
  • Its cultural impact: It's found its way into pop culture, appearing in films, TV shows, and books.

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