Keep it simple, shorty
WHY can't we just say the whole thing? Why do we have to embellish with phrases like the whole box and dice, the whole nine yards and - the one queried by Judi Cox, of Kenmore in Brisbane - the whole kit and caboodle?
Judi guesses that this has a military origin, but can't prove so.
It is certainly multinational, because kit is a British military term for equipment, and it looks as if it was added to the phrase as reinforcement. Kit in this sense is listed in Captain Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811).
Caboodle comes from the Dutch boedel, "estate" or "property" and was first noted in the United States in 1699, according to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang: "Elisabeth had the Boedel of Jan Verbeck, desceased (sic), in hands." Random lists the whole caboodle from 1848 and the whole kit and caboodle from 1888.
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