You’re done

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm (Thanksgiving edition):


So this turkey comes into a bar…

And sits down next to the Boston terrier Ralph, who cuts off the turkey’s drinks, announcing to him that he’s done (finished drinking). — because. pointing to the pop-up timer in his breast, he’s done (cooked thoroughly).

A pop-up timer for turkeys, set to pop when the internal temperature is between 160 and 165 degrees F. (There are other pop-up timers for other meats. But, in any case, regular meat thermometers are more accurate.)


The two senses of done are in fact closely related. NOAD2 under done lists the word as the PSP of do and as an adjective:

(of food) cooked thoroughly: the turkey will be done soon.

But this adjectival use of done is just an adjectival use of the PSP, semantically specialized to the cooking situation. In NOAD‘s entry for do we find the two subsenses:

[no obj.] informal  finish: you must sit there and wait till I’m done | [with present participle]: we’re done arguing.

(be done) be over: the special formula continues to beautify your tan when the day is done.

The ‘finished, over’ senses are then specialized in the culinary context: food is done when the cooking is finished or over (note the shift from the word applying to cooking to applying to the food)..

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