Are you scratching your head and wondering what the expression “the whole kit and caboodle” means? Well, idioms like this one can be confusing to English language learners, but understanding them is important if you want to communicate like a native speaker.
To learn how to use it correctly, you need to understand its meaning and find out a little bit about its origin.
The whole kit and caboodle — Meaning
According to the whole kit and caboodle definition, the phrase means everything, or all things or people discussed.
Lisa packed up all her stuff, the whole kit, and caboodle, and left.
In the example above, the phrase refers to all of Lisa’s stuff. But, that’s already stated in the sentence, so you can see why the phrase is often a redundancy. In general, it’s used to point out all parts or all items of a specific group or collection.
The whole kit and caboodle — Origin
This idiom was first recorded in 1884 and today is only used in the United States. To understand the phrase’s origin, you should learn what each word in “the whole kit and caboodle” means.
A “kit” refers to a set of items or a soldier’s kit, which consists of their personal belongings. “Caboodle,” on the other hand, is derived from the word “boodle,” which first appeared in American English in the 1830s, meaning a group of people.
An older version of the idiom is “the whole kit and boodle,” and you can also find it in dictionaries spelled as “the whole kit and kaboodle.” Other versions include “the whole caboodle,” “the whole boodle,” and “the whole kit and boiling,” but they are now all out of use.