this, that, and the other

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Alternative forms[edit]


this, that, and the other

  1. Particular items belonging to a large, diverse set, but items of the general kind of item indicated.
    • 1897, Mark Twain, chapter 57, in Following the Equator:
      These returns exhibit a curious annual uniformity in results; the sort of uniformity which you find in the annual output of suicides in the world's capitals, and the proportions of deaths by this, that, and the other disease.
    • 1919, Virginia Woolf, chapter 6, in Night and Day:
      She meant to use the cumbrous machine to pick out this, that, and the other interesting person from the muddle of the world.
    • 2005 March 11, Roberta Smith, "Jean-Michel Basquiat: Collisions on Canvas That Still Make Noise," New York Times (retrieved 23 April 2013):
      Looking at his paintings, we sense the intense performance of making them, not as an Expressionistic process, but as a notational, seismographic record of the dodging feints his mind made in this, that and the other direction.


this, that, and the other

  1. A wide range of actions, circumstances, characteristics, topics, or other items.
    • 1850, Herman Melville, chapter 43, in White Jacket:
      A knowing old sheet-anchor-man, an unprincipled fellow, putting this, that, and the other together, ferrets out the mystery.
    • 1850, Charles Dickens, chapter 46, in David Copperfield:
      What with her dress; what with the air and sun; what with being made so much of; what with this, that, and the other; her merits really attracted general notice.
    • 1943, Norbert Davis, Sally's in the Alley:
      Anyway, we were sitting here doing this, that, and the other, and she said she positively was not going to do the other any more with Carstairs sneering at her while she did it.
    • 2001 Nov. 12, Andrea Sachs, "Out Of Africa," Time:
      "There's such an onslaught of people wanting information, people wanting this, that and the other," she says.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 1824, Sir Walter Scott, St.Ronan's Well, ch. 14:
    "I aye took your part when folk miscaa'd ye, and said ye were this, that, and the other thing."
  • 1911, Upton Sinclair, Love's Pilgrimage, Book 14:
    They insisted upon knowing how this, that, and the other thing would be done in the Cooperative Commonwealth.
  • 2002 Sept. 16, Lee Dembart, "For the record," New York Times (retrieved 23 April 2013):
    [W]hen people called and wanted to know how I intended to vote or what my opinion was on this, that and the other thing, I used to decline to talk to them.