Explanation for “call it quits” phrase

While reading a book I stumbled upon the following sentence:

He was too young to call it quits.

I can perfectly understand the gist, he was too young to be done with something, but what leaves me a bit baffled is the structure of call it quits. I am familiar with the phrase call it a day, for example, but never encountered a verb instead of a noun before. Why is it constructed this way? Are there other examples of call it <verb>?


Quits is not a verb, but an adjective. Call it quits (see call) is then an idiomatic expression meaning “to agree to end a contest, disagreement, etc. because both sides seem equal” or “to decide to stop doing something.”

As far as I can see on the Corpus of Contemporary American English, call it is never followed by a verb.

Source : Link , Question Author : haunted85 , Answer Author : apaderno

Leave a Comment