full to the gunnels

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full to the gunnels

As full as possible; filled up to the very top. A gunnel (also called a "gunwale") is the uppermost part of the side of a boat or fortification. The car is full to the gunnels, so if you want to bring anything else, you'll have to hold it on your lap. That old bookstore was full to the gunnels with just about any book you could hope to find.
See also: full, to
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