shebang(redirected from shebangs)
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the whole shebang
The entirety of something, including all things related to it. While I'm in London, I want to see Big Ben, the palace, the whole shebang.
everything; the whole thing. Mary's all set to give a fancy dinner party. She's got a fine tablecloth, good crystal, and silverware, the whole shebang. How much do you want for the whole shebang?
whole ball of wax, the
Also, the whole enchilada or shooting match or shebang . Everything, all the elements, the entire affair. For example, The union demanded higher wages, a pension plan, job security-the whole ball of wax, or The contract includes paperback rights, film rights, electronic media-the whole enchilada, or She lost her job, her pension, her health-care coverage, the whole shooting match. Not all the allusions in these slangy terms are clear. Ball of wax may refer to a 17th-century English legal practice whereby land was divided among heirs by covering scraps of paper representing portions of land with wax, rolling each into a ball, and drawing the balls from a hat. An enchilada combines several foods inside a tortilla; a shooting match denotes a shooting competition; and a shebang is a rude hut or shelter. The first two of these slangy terms date from the second half of the 1900s, the last two from the late 1800s. For synonyms, see whole kit and caboodle; whole megillah.
Also, whole shooting match. See whole ball of wax.
the whole shebangINFORMAL
The whole shebang is every part of something. It was while at the Mad House that Nancy met the man in charge of the whole shebang, Colonel Maurice Buckmaster. You get to dress up: bow tie, fancy shirt, tails, the whole shebang.
the ˌwhole sheˈbang(informal) the whole thing; everything: It’s not just a computer we need. We’re going to have to get a printer, a scanner, a CD-writer, the whole shebang.
the whole shebangand the whole shooting match (...ʃəˈbæŋ)
n. the whole affair; everything and everyone. (Folksy.) The whole shebang is just about washed up. The boss put an end to the whole shooting match.
whole shebang, the
The entire structure; the whole business and everything connected with it. The precise meaning of shebang in this phrase has been lost. It dates from mid-nineteenth century America, when it denoted a hut or shack, which makes no sense in the current cliché. Bret Harte used it: “That don’t fetch me even of [sic] he’d chartered the whole shebang” (“The Story of a Mine,” 1877). An alliterative synonym is the whole shooting match (also put as the whole shoot). Originally this meant a shooting competition, a usage dating from the mid-1700s. The addition of whole and the figurative meaning are much newer, dating from the 1900s. Also see kit and caboodle.
See also: whole