What does “throw everything but the kitchen sink” mean?

Learn about the origin, figurative usage, and synonyms of the idiom "throw everything but the kitchen sink." Discover how it means using all available resources or including everything possible.

Understanding the Phrase

“Throw everything but the kitchen sink” is a common idiom that means to use all available resources or to include everything possible.

It is often used to describe a situation where someone uses every possible option to achieve a goal.

Origins and History

The phrase “throw everything but the kitchen sink” has been around for over a century.

The exact origin of the phrase is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 1800s.

It may have been used in the context of warfare, where allies would throw everything they had at their enemies, including everything but the kitchen sink, to force them to surrender or retreat.

Are “throw everything but the kitchen sink” and “too many cooks spoil the broth” similar idiomatic expressions?

Yes, the meaning of too many cooks is similar to the expression “throw everything but the kitchen sink.” Both idiomatic expressions convey the idea of excess.

While the former suggests that having too many people involved can cause chaos, the latter implies including every possible item.

Literal vs.

Figurative Usage

While the phrase has a literal meaning, it is more commonly used figuratively in everyday conversation.

For example, someone might say, “She brought everything but the kitchen sink to the party,” meaning that she brought a lot of things.

Here are three example sentences that use the idiom:

  • “He packed everything but the kitchen sink for his camping trip.”
  • “She threw everything but the kitchen sink at the problem, but it still wasn’t solved.”
  • “The team brought everything but the kitchen sink to the game, but they still lost.”

Here are three synonyms of the idiom:

In summary, “throw everything but the kitchen sink” is an idiom that means to use all available resources or to include everything possible.

It has been around for over a century and is commonly used figuratively in everyday conversation.