the done thing

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the done thing

A given behavior that is acceptable, appropriate, or correct in a particular social situation. Often used in the negative to convey the opposite. Calling on a friend when they are sick is simply the done thing. You should know better than to wear a skirt like that to a formal dinner—it is simply not the done thing! I'm so glad smoking indoors is not the done thing anymore!
See also: done, thing
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the done ˈthing

(British English) the socially correct way to behave: Smoking while somebody else is eating is not the done thing.It’s the done thing to dress for dinner in this hotel.
See also: done, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
"Oh, I have done things on a large scale, and according to your directions."
"Well," she said, smiling, for in her own heart she could not help studying this double love of the prisoner for herself and for the black tulip, "I have done things on a large scale; I have prepared a bed as you described it to me, on a clear spot, far from trees and walls, in a soil slightly mixed with sand, rather moist than dry without a fragment of stone or pebble."
A man who could have done things but who placed no value on the doing, and who, all the time, in his innermost heart, is regretting that he has not done them; who has secretly laughed at the rewards for doing, and yet, still more secretly, has yearned for the rewards and for the joy of doing."
He's the kind of man we want in Parliament--the man who has done things."
and w f That's not the done thing for a jockey riding at eight stone.
He is doing things the right way, the club has always done things the right way.
WEST Ham co-owner David Gold admitted he wished he had done things differently following the club's relegation from the Premier League and the sacking of manager Avram Grant yesterday.
I've done things well but obviously I've done things I'll need to work on."
"We've also done things such as changing all of the lightbulbs in the house to energy-saving.
'I think the more the legal system clearly relates to the conduct of individuals who have done things or have not done things and the less it relates to the technicalities of the legal process, the better it is for the transparency of the legal system as a whole.
"There are people that have done things they shouldn't have done," he said.
We may have said or done things that may have given them the idea or the feeling that we want to destroy them as a civilization, as a religion, as a country.
He could have done things differently prior to now.
The designers have done things like using identical pictures to illustrate different pages more likely, you think, they couldn't be bothered to get around to making each page fresh and interesting and ...
``I could and should have done things better,and the sad thing to me about it all, regardless of my own personal feelings, is that the man I was trying to protect, Mr Formstone,is the real victim.