whole shebang

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Alternative forms[edit]


Fixed expression from shebang,[1][2][3] first attested in the United States from the early 1860s, from which time it has increasingly dominated uses of "shebang" itself.


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whole shebang (plural whole shebangs)

  1. (idiomatic, with "the") Everything; the entire thing.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:everything
    The festival had balloons, flowers, fireworks, performers, and the whole shebang.
    • 1863, James Bryan, A Short Account of the "Mary Ann" Hospital, Grand Gulf, Miss.[1]:
      On the third the whole "chebang" was removed [...]
    • 1924, Harold Hart Crane, letter:[1][2]
      I am growing more and more sick of factions, gossip, jealousies, recriminations, excoriations and the whole literary shee-bang.
    • 2002, Treasure Planet, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
      Doctor, I'd love to chat. Tea, cake, the whole shebang. But I've got a ship to launch and you've got your outfit to buff up.
    • 2004, Leo Furey, The Long Run, page 331:
      “Food here's pretty good. They don't serve bog juice. Real tea and real coffee. Ice cream, pop, chips. The whole shebang. Every day's a wingding, brother.”
    • 2011, Dave Thompson, 1000 Songs that Rock Your World, page 209:
      Of course, they would win the whole shebang in 1974, when “Waterloo” [won] (sung in English by Swedes about a Frenchman in Belgium— how much more international can one song get?), but the bitter taste of past failures is not something one forgets...
    • 2011, Diane Phillips, Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever with More Than 400 Easy-to-Make Recipes, page 305:
      The whole shebang cooks in the slow cooker, which will keep it warm until you are ready to serve it.



  1. 1.0 1.1 whole shebang, the”, Wordorigins.org, Dave Wilton, Tuesday, February 20, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
  3. ^ Take our Word