go (the) whole hog(redirected from went the whole hog)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
go (the) whole hog
To do something as thoroughly as possible or without restraint. We only planned to order appetizers, but we went whole hog and ended up getting a seven-course meal. You only live once. Might as well go the whole hog and get the works.
go whole hog
to do everything possible; to be extravagant. Let's go whole hog. Order steak and lobster. Show some restraint. Don't go whole hog all the time.
go whole hog
Also, go the limit. Do something completely or thoroughly; proceed as far as possible. For example, Instead of just painting the room, why not go whole hog and redecorate it completely? or Let's go the limit and dig up the entire garden. Although the precise source of whole hog is disputed, this colloquialism was first recorded in 1828 (in Japhet by Frederick Marryat) as go the whole hog. Today the article is usually omitted. Go the limit, also a colloquialism, dates from the mid-1900s. Also see all out.
go the whole hogBRITISH or
go whole hogAMERICAN
COMMON If someone goes the whole hog, they do something to the fullest extent possible. Note: A hog is a pig. We could be restrained and just have a main course — or go the whole hog and have all three courses. The victim had been identified, and the newspaper continued to go whole hog on the story. Note: This expression may have its origin in butchers asking their customers which part of the pig they wished to buy, or whether they would `go the whole hog' and buy the whole pig. Alternatively, `hog' was a slang term for a ten cent piece in America, and also for an Irish shilling, so the expression may originally have meant `spend the full amount'.
go the whole hogdo something completely or thoroughly. informal
The origin of the phrase is uncertain, but a fable in William Cowper's The Love of the World: Hypocrisy Detected ( 1779 ) is sometimes mentioned: certain Muslims, forbidden to eat pork by their religion but tempted to indulge in some, maintained that Muhammad had had in mind only one particular part of the animal. They could not agree which part that was, and as ‘for one piece they thought it hard From the whole hog to be debarred’ between them they ate the whole animal, each salving his conscience by telling himself that his own particular portion was not the one that had been forbidden. Go the whole hog is recorded as a political expression in the USA in the early 19th century; an 1835 source maintains that it originated in Virginia ‘marking the democrat from a federalist’.