English, history: whence the saying “That’s all she wrote”?

Self-tutoring: the tutor inquires about the origin of the popular saying “That’s all she wrote.”

Apparently “That’s all she wrote” originates from WWII: if an American serviceman received a letter saying only “Dear John,” he’d been deserted by its writer. Observing the brevity of the letter, its receiver would report “That’s all she wrote” to share that his lady back home had left him. Therefore, “That’s all she wrote” meant not only the letter ended, but the relationship also had.

I had hoped, perhaps, for a more intriguing story behind “That’s all she wrote.” However, two sources suggest it arose as explained above. Hence, for this post, “That’s all she wrote:)”




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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