The full monty
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] 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.
Hypothesized 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 tailors Montague Burton. When the 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. OUP Oxford. pp. 151–152. ISBN 9780191650604.
- Gooden, Philip; Lewis, Peter (2013). Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases. A&C Black. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9781408157404.
- Games, Alex (2010). Balderdash & Piffle: One Sandwich Short of a Dog's Dinner. Random House. pp. 213–214. ISBN 9781446415085.
- Quinion, Michael. "World Wide Words: 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.
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