The idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ has become a common phrase used to describe a situation where everything possible has been included or considered.
However, many other colorful idioms and expressions can effectively convey the same meaning while avoiding repetition.
Here are 15 such alternative phrases that share the conceptual essence of including everything possible without limitation.
Here Are 15 Similar Phrases to Everything But the Kitchen Sink
- The whole kit and caboodle
- Lock, stock, and barrel
- The whole shebang
- The whole nine yards
- Hook, line, and sinker
- Top to bottom
- Inside and out
- Front to back
- Up one side and down the other
- Bell, book, and candle
- Cat, Fiddle, and Frog
- Tom, Dick, and Harry
- Stem to stern
- The whole enchilada
- Warts and all
1. The whole kit and caboodle
‘The whole kit and caboodle’ is similar to ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ as it refers to the entirety of something, encompassing all its parts and components.
Like the original idiom, ‘the whole kit and caboodle’ implies a comprehensive collection of items or elements. It can be used interchangeably in situations where someone wants to express that everything related to a particular matter is included.
For example, one might say, ‘When we moved, we brought the whole kit and caboodle with us,’ meaning they took all their belongings and possessions.
2. Lock, stock, and barrel
‘Lock, stock, and barrel’ shares similarities with ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ in terms of encompassing the entirety of something.
It originally referred to the three main parts of a firearm: the lock (the firing mechanism), the stock (the handle or butt of the gun), and the barrel. Over time, it has evolved to represent the entirety of an object or situation.
When used as a substitute for the original idiom, ‘lock, stock, and barrel’ emphasizes the idea that nothing has been left out or omitted.
For instance, someone might say, ‘He bought the business lock, stock, and barrel,’ indicating that the individual acquired every aspect of the company.
3. The whole shebang
‘The whole shebang’ is another suitable replacement for ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ as it conveys the notion of completeness or entirety.
‘The whole shebang’ refers to the entirety of a particular situation, event, or group of things. It can be used interchangeably to express that all components or elements are included.
For example, if someone is describing a party they organized, they might say, ‘We had decorations, food, music—the whole shebang!’ Here, the phrase signifies that all the necessary elements for a successful party were present.
4. The whole nine yards
‘The whole nine yards’ is often used similarly to ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ to denote a situation where everything possible or available has been included.
Its origin is uncertain, but it is commonly believed to have originated in the context of fabric measurements, where the entire length of fabric was referred to as ‘the whole nine yards.’ Today, it is used figuratively to express completeness.
For instance, if someone is recounting a story and wants to emphasize that they provided every detail, they might say, ‘I told them the whole nine yards,’ indicating that they provided a comprehensive account.
5. Hook, line, and sinker
The phrase ‘hook, line, and sinker’ is a metaphorical expression that can be used instead of the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ to convey the idea of being completely deceived or tricked.
The phrase originates from fishing, where a fisherman would use a hook, line, and sinker to catch a fish. Similarly, when someone falls for a deception or a trick, they are said to have fallen for it ‘hook, line, and sinker.’
This phrase implies that the person was fully and completely taken in by the deception, without any reservations or doubts.
For example, imagine a person who is easily fooled by a scam. You could say, ‘He fell for that scam hook, line, and sinker.’
This means that the person was completely deceived and believed the scam without questioning its authenticity.
6. Top to bottom
The term ‘top to bottom’ is another phrase that can be used in place of the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ to convey the idea of including or encompassing everything.
It suggests a comprehensive approach to something, leaving no aspect untouched or unaddressed. The phrase implies that every part or element of a subject or situation is being considered or included.
For instance, if someone were to say, ‘We cleaned the entire house from top to bottom,’ it means that they cleaned every corner, every room, and every detail of the house.
Similarly, if someone were to say, ‘He packed his bags with everything from top to bottom,’ it means that he packed all his belongings, leaving nothing behind.
7. Inside and out
The phrase ‘inside and out’ can also be used interchangeably with the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ to show the idea of including every possible aspect or detail of something.
When we say ‘inside and out,’ it means that we are considering both the internal and external aspects of a subject or situation, leaving no part unexplored.
For example, if someone were to say, ‘She knows that topic inside and out,’ it means that she has a comprehensive understanding of every detail and aspect related to the topic.
Similarly, if someone were to say, ‘He examined the car inside and out,’ it implies that he thoroughly inspected every nook and cranny of the car.
8. Front to back
The phrase ‘front to back’ is yet another alternative to the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ to express the notion of including or considering everything.
It suggests a complete and comprehensive coverage from the beginning to the end, leaving no part ignored or overlooked. The phrase implies that all aspects or elements of a subject or situation are being taken into account.
For instance, if someone were to say, ‘I read that book from front to back,’ it means that they read every page and did not skip any part.
Similarly, if someone were to say, ‘We analyzed the project from front to back,’ it implies that they thoroughly examined every detail and aspect of the project.
9. Up one side and down the other
The phrase ‘Up one side and down the other’ is a colorful idiom that can be used as an alternative to ‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink’ in certain contexts.
It conveys the idea of including or considering every possible aspect or detail of a situation. When someone says, ‘We discussed the project up one side and down the other,’ they mean that they thoroughly examined and covered every angle, leaving no stone unturned.
This phrase emphasizes the comprehensive nature of the discussion or analysis, similar to the idiom ‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink.’
10. Bell, book, and candle
‘Bell, book, and candle’ is a phrase that can be used as an alternative to the idiom ‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink’ in specific contexts.
It refers to a ritualistic formula used in certain religious or ceremonial practices, particularly in the Catholic Church. The phrase is associated with excommunication or the banning of someone from the community.
When used figuratively, it implies that every possible means or resource has been employed to achieve a particular outcome.
For example, if someone says, ‘They tried everything—bell, book, and candle—to win the case,’ they mean that all possible strategies or methods were utilized. Thus, the phrase captures the sense of exhaustively using all available options.
11. Cat, Fiddle, and Frog
The phrase ‘Everything but the kitchen sink’ is often used to describe a situation where a large or excessive amount of things are included.
Similarly, the phrase ‘cat, fiddle, and frog’ can be used to convey a similar meaning. It implies that everything imaginable or unrelated is included or being discussed.
For example, imagine someone is packing for a trip and they say, ‘I’m bringing my clothes, toiletries, gadgets, books, and cat, fiddle, and frog.’
Here, the inclusion of ‘cat, fiddle, and frog’ emphasizes that the person is bringing an abundance of items, even things that might seem unusual or unnecessary.
It adds a playful and whimsical tone to the statement, highlighting the idea of including everything and anything.
12. Tom, Dick, and Harry
In a similar vein to the phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink,’ the expression ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’ can be used to convey the notion of including a wide array of individuals or things. It suggests that every possible person or object is being included or involved in a particular situation.
For example, if someone says, ‘I invited Tom, Dick, and Harry to the party,’ it implies that they invited not only their close friends but also a multitude of other acquaintances. The phrase emphasizes the inclusion of a broad range of people, indicating that no one was left out.
Furthermore, ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’ can be used to illustrate a scenario where various options or possibilities are being considered.
For instance, if someone is discussing potential solutions to a problem and says, ‘We’ve explored every option, from A to Z and Tom, Dick, and Harry,’ it means that they have considered a comprehensive range of alternatives, leaving no stone unturned.
13. Stem to stern
When referring to the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink,’ we can also use the phrase ‘stem to stern’ to express a similar meaning.
‘Stem to stern’ is a nautical term, referring to the entire length or extent of a ship, from the front (stem) to the back (stern). It implies that every part or aspect of something is being included or considered.
For instance, if someone says, ‘I’ve cleaned the house from stem to stern,’ they mean that they have thoroughly cleaned every corner and surface of the entire house, leaving no area untouched.
The phrase emphasizes the comprehensive nature of the cleaning process, similar to the idea of including everything.
14. The whole enchilada
The phrase ‘the whole enchilada’ is a colorful idiom that can be used as a substitute for the expression ‘everything but the kitchen sink.’
It carries a similar meaning of encompassing or including everything. Just like the idiom, ‘the whole enchilada’ suggests that nothing is left out and that every possible element or aspect is being considered or included.
Originating from Mexican cuisine, particularly referring to a filled tortilla dish, the phrase ‘the whole enchilada’ has evolved to signify completeness or entirety.
When used in a broader context, it implies the inclusion of all relevant parts, details, or components of a particular situation.
For example, in a project management context, one might say, ‘We need to consider the whole enchilada when planning this event,’ meaning that all aspects, from logistics to budgeting to marketing strategies, should be taken into account.
15. Warts and all
‘Warts and all’ is another phrase that can be used interchangeably with ‘everything but the kitchen sink,’ while carrying a similar meaning.
This idiom suggests that the subject or situation is presented in its entirety, flaws included. It signifies a willingness to acknowledge and accept imperfections, rather than attempting to gloss over or hide them.
It can be applied to various scenarios, such as describing a candid documentary that portrays the subject ‘warts and all,’ or when discussing a person’s personality traits, acknowledging both their positive attributes and their flaws.
We have explored a wide range of phrases that can be used as alternatives to the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink.’ These phrases provide colorful and expressive ways to convey the idea of including a vast array of items or ideas.
By incorporating these phrases into your writing or speech, you can add depth and variety to your communication.
From ‘the whole kit and caboodle’ to ‘lock, stock, and barrel,’ each phrase brings its unique flair and imagery to the table. Whether you’re writing a creative piece, engaging in lively conversation, or simply looking to expand your vocabulary, these phrases will undoubtedly enhance your language skills.
I hope that this article has not only exposed you to a variety of phrases similar to the idiom ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ but has also inspired you to explore the vast world of idioms and expressions.