What Does Two Down, One To Go Mean?

Two Down, One to Go Meaning

Definition: Two things are complete, and one thing is not yet complete.

This expression is often used to encourage someone who is almost done with his or her tasks.

Origin of Two Down, One to Go

This expression appeared in the early 1900s. A short propaganda film titled Two Down and One To Go popularized the phrase in 1945.

Although the exact origin is unclear, some sources speculate that the idiom is related to sports. For example, in baseball, three strikes are allowed before the batter is out.

Examples of Two Down, One to Go

one down one to goIn this example, two college friends are preparing for a big party they are throwing.

Karl: Can I see that list we made of stuff we have to finish before the party?

Frank: Sure. Here it is.

Karl: Okay. It says we need to buy drinks, make a music playlist, and invite everyone in our dormitory.

Frank: You already bought the drinks, and I already made the playlist.

Karl: Perfect! Two down, one to go.

Frank: Maybe we can each invite half of the people. You take the top floor, and I’ll take the bottom floor.

Karl: Sounds good.

one more to go meaningIn this example, two friends use the idiom at a music festival.

Lily: I’ve seen all the bands that I wanted to see! What about you?

Grace: There were three bands that I was really hoping to see. I saw two of them so far. I’m not sure I’ll get to see the last one. I’m just so tired. Maybe I’ll leave early.

Lily: No way! Two down, one to go. It will be worth it.

Grace: Are you sure?

Lily: I promise. Let’s go find out when the band starts.

More Examples

In the below excerpt, police captured two out of three outlaws. They were still searching for the remaining criminal.

  • Two down, one to go. Three days into a manhunt that has led South Carolina authorities across nearly 30 miles of suburbs and swampland, two of the three escaped jailbirds have been captured. –New York Daily News

In this excerpt, a horse named California Chrome won the two first races for the prestigious Triple Crown race. The horse had not yet attempted the third race at the time of publication.

  • Two down and one to go for California Chrome in his bid for horse racing’s first Triple Crown in 36 years, but pulling that off will be easier said than run. –USA Today


Two down, one to go is an expression that lists off two things that are already done and one that remains to be done.