Stick a fork in it

The idiom stick a fork in it has been in use since the mid-twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase stick a fork in it, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Stick a fork in it is a commentary that something is finished, over, completed, or can go no further. Other iterations are stick a fork in me, stick a fork in her, etc. The idiom stick a fork in it is an abbreviation of the phrase, stick a fork in it, it’s done. The idiom is a play on the word done, which may mean finished or may mean a piece of meat is thoroughly cooked. The idiom stick a fork in it is derived from the practice of sticking a fork into a piece of meat to test whether it is thoroughly cooked. The earliest known use of the expression stick a fork in it was by Dizzy Dean, an American baseball player and commentator, in the 1940s when referring to a pitcher who was doing a poor job: “You can stick a fork in him folks—he’s done.”

Examples

“The general consensus is you can stick a fork in it,” Clarke said. (The Augusta Chronicle)

“I’ve learned many times to never say, ‘Stick a fork in it! Winter is done!’” meteorologist Bri Eggers said. (The Idaho Press-Tribune)

For its fourth trip into the Toy Story sandbox, Disney has decided to stick a fork in it. (The Globe and Mail)

CityBike is done, too done to bother with the vacuous “stick a fork in me” idiot-oms that pass for “writing” in an alarming number of so-called publications in this modern age of empty-headed echo-chamberism. (CityBike Magazine)