in the can

in the can


  • to be completed

Example Sentences

  1. The work is almost entirely in the can if only he can convince the managing directors to give him a raise now.
  2. His homework for the holidays is in the can although I cannot guarantee he will get the best grade this time.
  3. I love the fact that my diet plan is in the can Frankly I could not have taken salad leaves for lunch any longer.
  4. The story is in the can Now if I can just find a good publication house to print it out as a book it will be great.
  5. More than seventy per cent of the work is in the can.


The phrase is used in the context of films that are completed are a part of the filmy language. To can is to preserve something by sealing it airtight. When something is ‘canned’ it is sealed. This has converted into a new age phrase equating to be being completed, as in sealed. In the context of movies, the can is speculated to be the actual can that reels are carried in. So when it is ‘in the can’ the film is said to be completed. The literary origin of this phrase cannot be traced accurately.


  • that’s a wrap.

I 1 Thought

1 Thought

Is this correct? If someone told me 70% of their work was in the can, I’d interpret “can” as “toilet”. Maybe I just use too much slang. lol

- Perry July 5, 2013

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