What Does “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” Mean?


The common saying “Everything but the kitchen sink” is used to describe someone that includes lots of facets. In other words, when something has all the bells and whistles or includes about everything imaginable, it can be described as having everything but the kitchen sink. 


  • When the best student was making her class presentation. She included everything but the kitchen sink! 
  • When my roommate moved out, he took everything but the kitchen sink away with him 
  • The restaurant has everything but the kitchen sink nacho platter. I assume it comes with a whole lot of toppings!
  • I find that corner stores always have what I need. They practically carry everything but the kitchen sink.


This saying is traced back to documents from the late 19th century. In these documents, the phrase read something along “everything but the kitchen stove.” 

In addition to this, it is thought that the common-day version of the expression caught on during world war two. In fact, during the time, it was said that we were throwing “everything but the kitchen sink at the enemy.” 

The phrase most likely originated with the earlier forms and then changed through time into what we know today. However, this should just go to show how strong and popular the phrase has been, is, and most likely will be! 

Related: Check out our “common expressions” section for more articles like this one!

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By Ryan Fisher

Ryan holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and specializes in proofreading, editing, and content writing with an emphasis on business communication.

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