Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Meaning:

Including nearly everything possible.

Example: The Rockefeller family is moving to another city. Before they go, they want to transfer as many of their belongings to the new house as they can, including all of the furniture. Thus, it could be said that the Rockefeller’s are taking everything but the kitchen sink with them, meaning they are taking nearly all of it.
Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. Everything under the sun
2. The whole kit and caboodle
A drawing of a kitchen sink.

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.


Example Sentences

  • 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.

Note: This is not the case for all phrases, but sometimes there will be times where its origin is not clear. If that happens, what you might see on the phrase’s page is a theory for where it came from. In addition, the quotes on the expression’s page are typically the oldest I could find. Of course it is possible that older recordings exist and I overlooked them.

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