“That’s A Wrap” – Its Meaning, Origin & Usage


Have you ever just finished something, only for somone to shout “that’s a wrap”? What does this idiom mean?

This guide has all the answers that you’ve been looking for and will give you information like the meaning of “that’s a wrap” and its origins. So let’s dive into this phrase!

The Meaning of “That’s A Wrap”

The meaning of “that’s a wrap is super simple”. All it means is that you’ve completed something. It’s primarily used in the film and television industry to describe something that has been completed. 

For instance, someone may utter the phrase “that’s a wrap” when a television show has finished filming. It could also be said when an important scene has finished shooting.

It not only symbolizes something that has been completed but something that has been finished to a satisfactory level. You would only yell “that’s a wrap” if you are happy with the results. Otherwise, you would need to continue working.

Examples of “That’s A Wrap”

You now have a deeper understanding of the definition of “that’s a wrap”. Therefore, you can begin thinking about how you will utilize this phrase in your writing or speech. To help you, we’ve created some sentences containing “that’s a wrap”, which you can adjust to fit the situation.

Here are some of the ways to use this idiom in a sentence:

  • “We’ve been working on this film for an entire year. We’ve now finished filming. That’s a wrap!”
  • “That’s a wrap everyone, you can now finish working for today.”
  • “Thank you for your hard work. That’s a wrap! Go home and celebrate.”
  • “After working on this project for a year, I can finally say “that’s a wrap.””
  • “They had been shooting all day. After an intense session, the director finally announced that it was a wrap at 4am”.

Other ways to say “That’s A Wrap”

As with many other phrases, there are lots of different synonyms for “that’s a wrap”. These phrases have the same sentiment as this idiom, meaning that they are also a way of describing something that has been completed. 

Here are other examples of “that’s a wrap”:

  • “It’s finished”
  • “It’s done and dusted”
  • “We’ve finished”
  • “Mission accomplished”
  • “It’s all done”
  • “What’s done is done”
  • “It’s in the can”

Arguably, these other idioms are more versatile than “that’s a wrap.” As previously mentioned, this phrase is heavily associated with television and movie-making. In contrast, these other idioms have the same meaning but can be used in a broader range of contexts.

Interestingly, the phrase “it’s in the can” has similar origins to “it’s a wrap”. After all, this phrase also originates from the filmmaking process. It’s fascinating to think that these two idioms have not only comparable meanings but also close origins.

Origins of “That’s A Wrap”

The origin of the phrase “that’s a wrap” belongs in filmmaking, hence why it is still frequently used in this industry.

This phrase is believed to date back to the beginning of the 20th century, specifically the 1920s. Many people believe that in filmmaking, “wrap” stands for “wind, reel and print”. This refers to the filmmaking process. However, this acronym is doubtful, though it could be true!

The reason why this acronym is questionable is that it doesn’t reflect the genuine filmmaking process. This is because film printing would not wait until principal photography had ended. Instead, it would usually be done at the end of each day.

During the early 20th century, film was a thin strip that was used to record motion. Hence, why movies are also referred to as “films.” These celluloid films were first used in 1889.

When filming would conclude, people working on a film would say “that’s a wrap”. Afterward, they would host a wrap party, which would celebrate the end of the shooting process. A wrap party would be attended by the cast and crew members of a production. These wrap parties would be a great way of relaxing after a stressful day of shooting a film.

It’s likely the world’s love for film and television that has resulted in it becoming a widespread idiom. Nowadays, it’s a widely used phrase that is used in everyday conversations. 

There’s something quite charming about this phrase. It encapsulates the simplicity of the past, as filmmaking used to be a much simpler and less technologically advanced process. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you are now well informed about the idiom “that’s a wrap”. So now that you know the origin and meaning of this phrase, you can freely add it to your everyday conversations. It works particularly well if you have a passion for film and television.

It’s an excellent expression to use, so why not try using it in your writing or adding it to your dialogue? It’s a quirky expression that evokes filmmaking history!