"The full monty" (or "the full Monty") is a British slang phrase of uncertain origin. It means "everything which is necessary, appropriate or possible; 'the works'". Similar North American phrases include "the whole kit and caboodle", "the whole nine yards", "the whole ball of wax", "the whole enchilada", "the whole shebang", or "[going] the whole hog".
The phrase was first identified in print by lexicographers of the Oxford English Dictionary in the 1980s. Anecdotal evidence exists for earlier usage; the phrase was also used as the name for some fish and chip shops in Manchester during the same period.
Hypothesised origins of the phrase include:
- Field Marshal Montgomery's preference for a large breakfast, even while on campaign.
- A full three-piece suit with waistcoat and a spare pair of trousers from the Leeds-based British tailoring company Montague Burton. When British forces were demobilised after the Second World War, they were issued with a "demob suit". The contract for supplying these suits was partly fulfilled by Montague Burton.
- Gamblers' jargon, meaning the entire kitty or pot, deriving from the card game called monte.
- "full monty, n. (and adj.)". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2001.
- Dent, Susie (2009). What Made The Crocodile Cry?: 101 Questions about the English Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 151–152. ISBN 978-0-19-957415-5.
- Gooden, Philip; Lewis, Peter (2012). Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-1-4081-5743-5.
- Games, Alexander (2007). Balderdash & Piffle: One Sandwich Short of a Dog's Dinner. BBC Books. pp. 213–214. ISBN 978-1-84607-235-2.
- Quinion, Michael (12 January 2002). "The Full Monty". Worldwidewords.org. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015.
- "It's in the dictionary, d'oh!". BBC News. 14 June 2001.