whole shebang

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Alternative forms[edit]


1924, from shebang.[1][2][3]


whole shebang (plural whole shebangs)

  1. (idiomatic, with "the") Everything; the entire thing.
    The festival had balloons, flowers, fireworks, performers, and the whole shebang.
    • 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.
    • 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.


See also[edit]

  • for a list of other "whole ___" terms that mean "everything / the whole thing", see the whole nine yards


  1. 1.0 1.1 whole shebang, the”, Wordorigins.org, Dave Wilton, Tuesday, February 20, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928) A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697; and The Oxford English Dictionary; being a Corrected Re-issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (the First Supplement), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933, OCLC 2748467.
  3. ^ Take our Word