Green’s Dictionary of Slang

end, the n.

1. the absolute limit that the speaker will tolerate, ‘the last straw’.

[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Vision’ in Chisholm (1951) 117: It’s bad nough to be a bloke without one reel close friend, / But when your dog givs you the bird it’s pretty near the end.
[US]H.A. Smith Life in a Putty Knife Factory (1948) 140: ‘This is the end,’ she said.
[UK]K. Williams Diaries 12 Mar. 73: To Labour Exch. about unemployment. All quite disgusting. Purchased another 7 insurance stamps. The end.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 256: Carl’s not quite as butch as hes pretending to be. Hes really the end!
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 256: And those crazy addresses you go right on cooking up. They are the End!

2. perfection, absolute excellence, the best possible.

[UK]B. Nichols Revue 11: ‘I’ve got dozens of photographs of them. They’re the end! ‘Life savers?’ ‘Yes. I put them in an album’.
[US]Neurotica Autumn 45: Senor this shit [i.e. narcotic] is the end! Come to back and trv. Senor .
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Room to Swing 15: And your clothes—they’re the end. You’re really togged down.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 12: Nothin can touch the 47 Continental convertible. Theyre the end.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 117: You are the living end!
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 34: Fucking waiter pretending he’s the bloody end / just ’cause he had Charlie and Diana to dine.
[US](con. 1930s–60s) H. Huncke Guilty of Everything (1998) 273: The woman who ran the building thought Allen was just the end.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. 17 Mar. 🌐 It’s brittle toffee made with golden syrup, brown sugar [...] and bicarbonate of soda. I’m sorry to say that my children thought it was the end .