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Whole shebang

Whole shebang means the entire thing, the whole matter, all of it. Note that the word shebang is not hyphenated. The word shebang has a long and circuitous history. Shebang first appears at the time of the American Civil War to describe a ramshackle, temporary shelter. Ten years later, shebang was also used to describe a hired coach or vehicle. Fifty years later, in the 1920s, the phrase the whole shebang came to mean the entire thing, the whole matter, all of it. How the word shebang evolved from referring to a temporary shelter to the whole matter is unknown. The word shebang may have been derived from the Irish word shebeen, meaning a shady, illegal tavern, or the French term char-à-bancs, which is a benched carriage.


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Examples

They ply Madison Avenue with alcohol, tuna tartare, and “sizzle” reels in the hope that this slightly absurd lavishness — it’s not unheard of to spend more than $1 million on the whole shebang — will result in billions of dollars in promised ad buys. (The International Business Times)

The whole shebang can be had for four convenient installments of $44.95 each plus $21.99 shipping, backed by the manufacturer’s 365-day money back guarantee, which isn’t spelled out in the ad, so it is left to your imagination to determine what that covers. (The Aspen Times)

But when the whole shebang kicks off in earnest on Monday morning, there will be an underlying sense of seasickness because of the inexorable, existential question that now faces television this time of year: How long can it go on like this? (The New York Times)

I always figured that the smoke was kind of an intrinsic part of the whole shebang, given that the hearts of the agave plant are roasted in underground pits over hot coals before fermentation. (The Huffington POst)

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