Do the needful

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"Do the needful" is an expression which means "do that which is necessary", with the respectful implication that the other party is trusted to understand what needs doing without being given detailed instruction.

The expression is currently used mainly in Indian English.[1] The expression was current in both British[2] and American English[3] well into the early 20th century.

This phrase can also have a negative connotation when the person who is saying it is not taking responsibility to ensure the completeness and/or accuracy of the result.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists examples of usage from 1709 (Richard Steele in the Tatler), 1771 (Samuel Foote in Maid of Bath), 1821 (Maria Edgeworth in a letter), 1831 (Walter Scott in his journal), 1929 (I. Colvin in his Life of Dyer), and 1992 (Jeff Torrington in Swing Hammer Swing!), the last likely used humorously.[2]

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