in the can


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in the can

1. Successfully completed; ready for public viewing or consumption. Originally used in reference to filmmaking, its use has expanded to any other creative endeavor. With the last chapter of his novel in the can, Jeremy decided to celebrate with a bottle of champagne. The whole movie's in the can, but we've had some issues securing theaters to show it.
2. In the restroom, lavatory, etc. Mike: "Has anyone seen John? I need him to finish that report." Bob: "I think he's in the can."
3. In jail or prison. My uncle spent five years in the can for money laundering. I can't believe I got thrown in the can for an unpaid parking ticket!
See also: can

in the can

1. completed and ready to be shown Sarandon has another movie in the can.
Usage notes: usually said about a film or television show
2. (slang) in prison The last time he was in the can, he attacked another prisoner.
See also: can

in the can

1. In the lavatory, as in He can't come to the phone; he's in the can. The related on the can means "sitting on the toilet." The noun can is used for both the room and the toilet. [Slang; c. 1900]
2. Completed, as in About a hundred pages of her next book are in the can. This usage originated in filmmaking to describe a completed motion picture, when film was literally put into a can or canister. [Slang; c. 1930]
3. As an out-of-the-money finisher in a horse race, where a horse comes in fourth or worse. For example, He had no luck that day-every bet ended up in the can. [1960s]
See also: can

in the can

Completed and ready for release, as a film or scene of a film.
See also: can