That’s About the Size Of It

Meaning of Idiom ‘That’s About the Size Of It’

The idiom that’s about the size of it is used to confirm someone’s assessment, summary, or impression of a situation. When we say ‘that’s about the size of it’ we are saying that is how things are or how things happened, etc. and we are agreeing that someone’s explanation or account is a valid one.

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Examples Of Use

The idiom tends to be used in regards to situations that are considered negative or bad.

“I hear they are going to lay off about fifty workers,” said Penny. “That’s about the size of it,” said Frank.”

“That’s about the size of it. We can’t make this delivery schedule unless we buy at least two new trucks, so let’s get it done.”

“Do you really think Allison is going to move to France?” asked Ron. “That’s about the size of it, said Ken.”


This idiom began in Britain in the mid-1800s. It appears in Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad, from 1880:

“Bloodshed! ‘That’s about the size of it,’ I said.” (Source)

It also appeared in Elizabeth Braddon’s Trail of the Serpent (1860):

“Dead?” said Richard. ‘That’s about the size of it, sir,’ replied Mr. Peters.”

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