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game is up, the

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Also, the jig is up. The trick or deception has been exposed. For example, When they took inventory they realized what was missing, and the game was up for the department head. This expression dates from the mid-1800s and uses up in the sense of “over” or “lost.” The variant employs jig in the sense of “trickery,” a usage dating from about 1600.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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