All set

When one is done or ready. "As in when a waitress brings your food and asks 'Now, y'all set?' or when you're ready to leave, 'I'm all set tah go.'
Erica Hruby

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Comments

re: All set

On trips up to canada to visit friends I often have this problem. "can I get you a beer?" My response is "no thanks, I'm all set." Which often leads them to go and get me one.

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I don't think this one's exclusive to Boston, as I'm a Canadian who's lived in Hamilton, St. John's, Jerusalem, Boston, and a wee cornfield in Iowa, and have been perfectly understood when saying this in each location (as long as the person to whom I was speaking spoke English in the first place).

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I have to agree with Liz on this one. "All set" is quite prevalent in southwestern Pennsylvania. Now, maybe it originated in Boston, I don't know. It is the 'hub of the universe", or so I've heard...

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my dads from boston and i did time in summer there-im a cali girl. now, all set is normal in my household, so i cant say wether its "boston" or not, but i get the ya'll thing my family cahnt say you all fah nuthin'. and one of their favorite things to do is have friends over to get me to say words such as quarter and park and car...then they tell me i talk all retahded cause i pronounce all my ahs (r's) and stuff. youall is maybe a better way to write it, its a very round all...anyway, dig the site.

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I'm from the Mid-west and I travel with the folks alot, and.. is it just me, or don't we all say 'all set'? Well.. I've never been to Boston (completely dying to, though, don't ask me why) so maybe it's more used there.

re: All set

i don't know where the "all set" line stops in the states, but i'm in england right now and when i went out to eat the other day and the waitress came to my table on seeing i'd had a clean plate and asked if i wanted anything i said "no, i'm all set." she walked away for five minutes, came back, looking really confused and asked 1.) if i was american and 2.)did "all set" mean i wanted the bill. i said 1.) yes and 2.) well, yeah, it's kind of implied.

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I am a native Cape Coder, but I moved to San Diego and Salt Lake for a brief stint and found the my frequent use of "all set" meant absolutely nothing to my western friends.

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I grew up in RI, parents from Eastern PA. We used "all set" fluently. I live in Tennessee now and I do get strange looks when saying all set. I agree with Shannon about "y'all". It's definitely different from the southern version, more like "yooall" or "yooaw".

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"All set" is northeastern/eastern. Y'all is never spoken unless your a transplant. You would hear a person from MA saying "R U all Set?" accompanied by "would you like the check then."

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I'm a fifth-generation Californian and we use "all set," meaning finished or done, all the time, as well as "set" to mean the same thing.

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I lived outside Boston for 3 years and of all the different phrases that passed through my ears, "all set" is one I took back home to Chicago with me. I use it all the time! Chicagoans don't really use the phrase - they'll say things like "I'm good," or "I'm fine," or "I'm ok," but I've never had anyone NOT understand "all set" and what it implies. I've even found myself combining the Midwest and New England slang to create "y'all set" and I still don't get any looks. :)

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I'm originally from Mississippi, and when I moved to Connecticut, "all set" was one of the first things I noticed. People up here say it ALL THE TIME. When I'd first moved here, my mom and I went to a seafood restaurant. The hostess told us it would be about 20 minutes before she could seat us, but we could wait at the bar. So fine, we went and got drinks. No sooner than we'd taken our first sips, the hostess came by and asked, "Are you all set?" I said, "Yes, thanks." Couple of minutes later, she came back and asked again, "Are you all set?" YES, we're fine! Finally she came back a third time, asked the same thing, and FINALLY I realized that what she meant was, "Your table is ready; I can seat you now."

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I'm originally from Mississippi, and when I moved to Connecticut, "all set" was one of the first language differences I keyed in on. People up here say it ALL THE TIME. When I'd first moved here, my mom and I went to a seafood restaurant. The hostess told us it would be about 20 minutes before she could seat us, but we could wait at the bar. So fine, we went and got drinks. No sooner than we'd taken our first sips, the hostess came by and asked, "Are you all set?" I said, "Yes, thanks." Couple of minutes later, she came back and asked again, "Are you all set?" YES, we're fine! Finally she came back a third time, asked the same thing, and FINALLY I realized that what she meant was, "Your table is ready; I can seat you now."

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When I was over in Italy over the summer we went to a local resturant one night. When we were done the waiter asked us if we wanted anything else, i replied "no thanks, we're all set", he then gave us the most puzzled look and asked us to rephrase

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A note to Amanda, who posted a comment Jan. 26, 2004:You wouldn't hate it, honey, if you were born sayin' it.Oh--and the correct spelling is Y'ALL.With love to all y'all,A Bama girl

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i say all set all the time as in i dont want, i doing fine. My parents would think otherwise (Philly, Denmark natives). So i guess its only boston, but i think ive heard it other places.

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It sounds like this isn't purely a Mass thing, but I had no idea that EVERYONE didn't say this. I told my Mom (born in Norwood, now living in Florida) about this site, and we had this conversation:"So, Mom, there are things on there that I had no idea were strictly New England.""Like what?""Okay, so you're in a restaurant and are ready to leave. The server comes up and asks if you want anything else. What do you say?""Um, I think I'd say, "No, thanks, I'm all set."""EXACTLY!"We also didn't know that using "bullshit" to mean "ticked off" was a New England thing (also on this site). It's a good thing this site is here to educate the rest of the world on the correct way to speak. :-)~ Lisa in Seattle (born & raised in Mansfield)

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I say "all set" after living in D.C. and hanging out with a bunch of New Englanders. I am now back in California (by the way, no one calls it "Cali" if you're a native) and still say it in exactly the context referenced here and people look at me like, "huh?"

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I don't know how anyone could live without this indispensible phrase. I say "all set" about five times a day. I don't know how else I could get that idea across.

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I am a native of Virginia and like the guy who is living in Tenessee said, we find it strange to use this phrase. I didn't know what it meant as the expression is so vague and moreover, when I first heard it said here in Boston, I thought it sounded so rude from someone I would eventually be paying for my meal. I wanted to ask, "Am I set to do what? What do you mean?"

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I was working in a call center with a bunch of Chicagoans on my particular row, when I dropped "all set" into one of our conversations. I was immediately clocked as a Bostonian, and was told that Bostonians say that all the time. I had never realized it until that day!I also had a funny banter with a waitress this evening when I told her that my lemonade was too "taht", I was all set wanted a coffee instead. She gave me one of those looks like when you blow a "silent" whistle at a dog.

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Me and my brother and sisters went to california and the waitress asked if we needed anything else and i said no we're all set and she was like so you need anything else, i ended up just telling her i was fine.

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I asked a co-worker yesterday why everyone here says "all set". Not only because I'm interested in the origination of such phrases, but also because its purpose has had me completely perplexed. We Texans use the simpler words like "fine," "okay," and "ready".Of course, we DO refer to two or more people as y'all! I get a lot of ribbing whenever I say it. But then, I want everyone else to repeat words with "r".

re: All set

Sorry, but this definition is just flat out wrong. When used in a question, such as by the stupidest and laziest form of waiter or store clerk, "all set?" means absolutely nothing at all. It's like a grunt, but in yes/no format. These stupid people use it to mean (and I'm not kidding):1. Are you ready to begin?2. Are you finished?3. Are you content with everything and want no help?4. Are you not content and want some help?There might be even stupider questions to ask, but I can't think of any. Waiters who ask "All set?" should either be retrained or fired. Managers who train their employees to ask this should be shot.Not only that, but it's a recent stupidity. It's not a charmingly traditional thing. It has only crept into the stupid-people vocabulary around the Boston area in the past 10 years, maybe less. Maybe there were pockets of it earlier, but as a general thing, it's new.Now, for the stupid people who can't imagine waiters getting along without it, how about, "May I take your order?" or "May I clear any dishes for you?" or "Are you ready for your next course?" or "Would you like anything else?" Or any of the other many, many ways of actually saying what you mean.The same thing goes for the lazy and stupid people who find their listeners baffled when they use it in an answer. It's not them, chowdahead. It's you.

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Y'all is wonderful if you grow up saying it. I find all sorts of regionalisms charming, even those I don't use. I almost fell over laughing the first time I heard "all set" to mean "I don't need it." My friend was asked if she wanted a beer, and she said "I'm all set." The bartender (in Vermont) looked perplexed. She repeated it loudly. It was kind of rude and awkward. She laughed at my "y'all" and "over yonder" and "I reckon," and I enjoyed her saying "That wicked f##king sucks." Those were interesting and illuminating dialogs.

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Y'all is wonderful if you grow up saying it. I find all sorts of regionalisms charming, even those I don't use. I almost fell over laughing the first time I heard "all set" to mean "I don't need it." My friend was asked if she wanted a beer, and she said "I'm all set." The bartender (in Vermont) looked perplexed. She repeated it loudly. It was kind of rude and awkward. She laughed at my "y'all" and "over yonder" and "I reckon," and I enjoyed her saying "That wicked f##king sucks." Those were interesting and illuminating dialogs.

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Hi Y'All, I'm born and bred Brit, and if 'All Set' is Bostonian, it must have come with the settlers - it's a common phrase over here as a question -"Are you all set?" meaning "Are you ready to go?"...

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I've been living in Seattle for 17 years. I regularly hear "all set" meaning "finished," like you're a cashier and tell a customer "You're all set." It never occurred to me that it was a NE thing.

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I was born in Mass but grew up in Nevada. I have never heard this "all set" phrase until I moved back to MA a month ago, and I just have to say....that phrase SUCKS. It is absolutely confusing and just sounds like the people who are saying it are verbally lazy. My boyfriend and I can't make fun of it enough!

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Coming from the UK and now living in the Boston area, the use of "all set" by wait staff around here completely confuses me.Amongst the uses I have heard are the following:1. "Are you all set with that?" - meaning are you finished with your meal?2. Are you all set with the menu? - meaning do you have any questions about the menu?3. Are you all set? - a. are you ready to order or b. when paying the bill, do you need change??

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I agree with everything but 2. the menu. When you're asked if you're all set with a menu, they're typically asking if you're finished with it so they can take it away to get it off of the table and out of the way or if you haven't ordered yet, the 'all set' is a question as to whether you're ready to order.No self-respecting New Englander ever says y'all.No one can do our accent, especially in movies, unless they come from here and we can slip in and out of it. Just listen to Matt Damon in a couple of different movies sometime. One where he's 'Bostonian' and one where he's not but just has a generic accent. Others not from here ALWAYS end up making us sound like we're from New York. Then there's a Cambridge accent which is a little different, so we can lay it on thick or back off from it, depending on who you're hanging around with at the time :>) And then depending on whether you went to parochial school during a certain era, you have a gutteral 'l' sound in some of your words.

Read it again...

I don't think the hypothetical person is saying "y'all" as in "what can I get y'all?" I think it's an elision of "you" and "all set." As in "ya all set?," but said quickly. I definitely hear this in Boston.

Particularly among the younger, um, set, it seems that "all set with _____" has expanded to mean "I don't like _____." I've heard people offer a beer to someone who doesn't drink beer, and she'll say "no thanks, I'm all set with beer." Or someone looking through a catalog and saying "ew, I'm all set with plaid scarves" (when they don't personally have one).

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

I agree that they use the

I agree that they use the term "all set" everywhere, but I did have a friend from the Pittsburgh area that would give me a blank stare evertime I used the term. I would say "you all set" as in are you ready to go, and she would ask me constantly what I meant.

Wow, I'm from MA but have

Wow, I'm from MA but have been in Tennessee for the past year and have noticed that I say "no thanks, I'm all set" all the time and no one seems to know what I mean. I didn't realize that it might be a geographical thing.

In Connecticut, I"m confused

Waiting to order today at a lunch counter, the waitress asked, Are you all set?

I have no idea what this means.

Does it mean, are you ready to order? The answer would be yes.

Or does it mean, has someone already taken your order? The answer would be no.

Maybe it means both.

Whatever happened to, May I take your order?

"set," to me, means "ready to go." As in ready, set, go.

But here it seems to mean that, as well as meaning finished.

Yours,

Confused.

Yes, the waitresses don't

Yes, the waitresses don't even seem to know what it means.

I'm drinking coffee, and the waitress asks, "Are you all set with your coffee?"

Does that mean, do you want more coffee? I'd say, yes.

Or does it mean, do you not want more coffee? I think this is what she's really asking, but it sure is a bass-ackwards way of going about it.

Why not just ask, Would you like more coffee?

Now she just brought the check. She didn't say, "Thank you." She said, "All set."

All Set: South / Midwest / New England

So I've now officially lived my life in 3 parts of the USA The South (Atlanta), the Midwest (Chicago) and now New England (Boston).

I've noted that in the South they say "you duun?" or "you good?". The responses are "yep, all dun", or "yep, I'm good" or "yep, I'm ready" or "yep, I'm finished".

In the Midwest... people do indeed say "all set?" to ask if a person if ready, or finished or completed with the immediate task at hand.... however... I have noticed that since moving to Boston... people use "all set" SOOOOOO much more here than in the Midwest.

Even though "All set?" is used in the Midwest... typically in the Midwest the question tends to be more specific, "Need anything else Sir?" or "Would you like more coffee?" or "you have the paperwork you need?" In New England the question "All set?" makes it pretty clear that the person asking the question wants to make sure you have everything you need, but they are also typically in a rush and their time is valuable.

And by the way... it's absolutely NOT rude to ask "All set?". I love it... it's the person's way of asking "are you ready?" or "do you have everything you need from me?". It's neat, clean and very unambiguous and I love the fact that it neatly closes the loop and eliminates confusion.

It's no less or more rude than a Southerner saying "you dun?". I find it very polite and thoughtful.... but I love New England!!!

In and around the Hartford,

In and around the Hartford, CT area they use "All Set?" to mean "Can I take your order?" or "Can I get you anything else?" But sometimes not.

Since I've only been "all set" when I'm done and everything is fine, this leads to interesting ambiguities when they ask "all set?" but haven't done anything for me yet.

e.g. The order taker at the pizza/sandwich place asks me if I'm "all set" as I approach, I answer "no" and she starts to take the order of the next person.

e.g. I'm in the middle of a drink at the bar and they ask if I'm "all set," but me, having heard the expression before, I say, "yes" (yes, I'm all set and I don't need anything at the moment); and then she closed out my tab.

Now I just ask them to clarify exactly what they mean to be asking which leads to longer conversations than would ever been necessary if they'd only started with "May I take your order?" "Can I get you anything else?" or "Are you ready to close out your tab?" or whatever else they have intended to mean by asking "All set?"