Including nearly everything possible.
Origin of ‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink’
The origin of this phrase is not clear. Some people believe it might have originated from World War II. However, considering the expression exists in print from before that war, that is not the case. For example, the earliest I could find it in printed form is in a newspaper called The Syracuse Herald, 1918:
“In fact, I shall rather enjoy the experience, though the stations are full of people trying to get out and the streets blocked with perambulators, bird cages and ‘everything but the kitchen sink.’ “
Interestingly, there’s a similar phrase to this one that goes “everything but the stove” or “everything but the kitchen stove.” An example of this other, similar phrase is seen in the Jeffersonville National Democraft, 1894:
“I sold the chicken and got a dollar for them. John I got everything but the stove.”
As you can see from the quotes above, the “stove” expression appears in print earlier than the “kitchen sink” one. Thus, it might be that the “kitchen sink” phrase derived from what looks to be an older expression.
- My family was going on vacation to Hawaii and I wanted to bring everything but the kitchen sink with us. Obviously, this was not feasible and I had to settle with a few bags of luggage.