put the tin lid on (something)

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put the tin lid on (something)

To finish or complete a bad experience or situation in an especially negative way. Primarily heard in UK. The downgrading of the company's credit rating puts the tin lid on a disastrous year for their financial situation. What a bad day: I left my phone in the grocery store, my car broke down on the way home, and, to put the tin lid on it, my groceries broke through the bag as I was walking to the front door.
See also: lid, on, put, tin

put the tin lid on something

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
You say that something puts the tin lid on a bad situation when it is a final unpleasant event in a series. Next day, to put the tin lid on things, a hospital appointment letter for Jane arrived from the clinic.
See also: lid, on, put, something, tin
References in periodicals archive ?
What can you do when a man who used to put lids on beetroot jars in a factory for a living puts the tin lid on an otherwise encouraging night for Scotland?
This speaks volumes for Villa's so-called ambition and the sale of James puts the tin lid on it.