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kitchen sink
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Mar 19, 2015

I don't know if this is a dramatic change to a common English expression that has already been de facto accepted in its new form.

The traditional expression has always been "to throw EVERYTHING BUT the kitchen sink". But now it has become common to say "to throw the kitchen sink".

Can anyone clarify?

[Edited at 2015-03-19 09:28 GMT]


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:38
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German to English
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Quote Mar 19, 2015

Ron Fairly: “He used to throw everything but the kitchen sink. Now he throws the sink, too.”

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:38
English to Portuguese
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Some interesting changes over time Mar 19, 2015

Every time we hear such a figurative expression, it's a normal response to mentally try envisioning where it came from. Quite often we get it wrong, especially if an expression has been in use for a few generations already.

Let's imagine a contemporary 'vision' for throwing everything but the kitchen sink.

After some family celebration dinner, the dishwasher broke down. Who will do the dishes? The younger generation drew straws, and Jimmy was assigned. Grudgingly, he got started. His cousin Vicky decided to watch closely, and she began making some demeaning comments on how much unnecessary effort it took him to do an unusually sloppy job. At some point her remarks crossed the border of viciousness, he had enough of it, and started throwing everything but the kitchen sink at her.

Wrong!!!

This page tends to point the earliest uses of the expression to imply that someone was wearing everything (they owned) but the kitchen stove!

It may be assumed that some used "to throw on" instead of "to wear", and that the "on" was eventually lost.

As stoves became smaller while kitchen sinks didn't, a switch became convenient.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:38
Italian to English
Plumbing the depths Mar 19, 2015

Isn't the original version just a reference to conjugal spats in the kitchen where the participants sling crockery at each other and indeed anything else that isn't nailed down or - like the kitchen sink - plumbed in?

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Andy Watkinson
Spain
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Quite Mar 19, 2015

Giles Watson wrote:

Isn't the original version just a reference to conjugal spats in the kitchen where the participants sling crockery at each other and indeed anything else that isn't nailed down or - like the kitchen sink - plumbed in?


This is how I've always understood the expression - the only thing too heavy or anchored down so cannot be thrown.

Anyway, as I like to say, "I could care less" (Tom, watch the blood pressure.... )


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:38
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Italian to English
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BP Mar 19, 2015

Andy Watkinson wrote:

Giles Watson wrote:

Isn't the original version just a reference to conjugal spats in the kitchen where the participants sling crockery at each other and indeed anything else that isn't nailed down or - like the kitchen sink - plumbed in?


This is how I've always understood the expression - the only thing too heavy or anchored down so cannot be thrown.

Anyway, as I like to say, "I could care less" (Tom, watch the blood pressure.... )


My blood pressure is fine. I'm just asking. I'm interested in the way the English language changes. Isn't that the second time you've said "watch the blood pressure" to me? Maybe you just don't understand my Irish temperament. Most English people don't (I'm assuming you're English - that's the only possible explanation). My English girlfriend used to think I was angry when I wasn't.

[Edited at 2015-03-19 16:19 GMT]


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
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Liverpudlian Mar 19, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Andy Watkinson wrote:

Giles Watson wrote:

Isn't the original version just a reference to conjugal spats in the kitchen where the participants sling crockery at each other and indeed anything else that isn't nailed down or - like the kitchen sink - plumbed in?


This is how I've always understood the expression - the only thing too heavy or anchored down so cannot be thrown.

Anyway, as I like to say, "I could care less" (Tom, watch the blood pressure.... )


My blood pressure is fine. I'm just asking. I'm interested in the way the English language changes. Isn't that the second time you've said "watch the blood pressure" to me? Maybe you just don't understand my Irish temperament. Most English people don't (I'm assuming you're English - that's the only possible explanation). My English girlfriend used to think I was angry when I wasn't.

[Edited at 2015-03-19 16:19 GMT]


I only said "watch the blood pressure" once, after deliberately saying the abominable "I could care less" (which seems to be becoming increasingly popular).

I also loathe it when perfectly good sayings are mangled by the clueless or indifferent.

(And I would of thought the Liver buildings would of been enough to guess where I'm from) )


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:38
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Croatian to English
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Any examples of the new usage? Mar 19, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

But now it has become common to say "to throw the kitchen sink".

Can anyone clarify?

[Edited at 2015-03-19 09:28 GMT]


I've only ever heard the classic version, even on the American side of the Atlantic.


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MollyRose  Identity Verified
United States
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pack everything but the kitchen sink Mar 19, 2015

I never heard of "throwing all but the kitchen sink," but I've heard people say that when they packed their car (or luggage) for vacation, they would pack, or take all but the kitchen sink. Maybe the throwing is just in UK?

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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
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UK native, but don't know it either Mar 19, 2015

MollyRose wrote:

I never heard of "throwing all but the kitchen sink," but I've heard people say that when they packed their car (or luggage) for vacation, they would pack, or take all but the kitchen sink. Maybe the throwing is just in UK?


Though I've often thought about throwing everything including the kitchen sink (Scottish temperament perhaps?), I've never heard this expression in either of its forms either... but I have heard of "packing everything but the kitchen sink" and even "packing everything including the kitchen sink".

If it's evolved though, isn't it a mute point?

[Edited at 2015-03-19 19:42 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-03-19 21:04 GMT]


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Neptunia
Local time: 13:38
Italian to English
it has been everything but (or and) since 1944 Mar 19, 2015

from: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=k&p=5

kitchen sink (n.)

attested by 1824. Phrase everything but (or and) the kitchen sink is 1944, from World War II armed forces slang, in reference to intense bombardment.
Out for blood, our Navy throws everything but the kitchen sink at Jap vessels, warships and transports alike. [Shell fuel advertisement, "Life," Jan. 24, 1944]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:38
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Italian to English
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I know but... Mar 19, 2015

Neptunia wrote:


from: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=k&p=5

kitchen sink (n.)

attested by 1824. Phrase everything but (or and) the kitchen sink is 1944, from World War II armed forces slang, in reference to intense bombardment.
Out for blood, our Navy throws everything but the kitchen sink at Jap vessels, warships and transports alike. [Shell fuel advertisement, "Life," Jan. 24, 1944]


I know but in the current electoral campaign in the UK the leaders of all the political parties are accusing one another of "throwing the kitchen sink".... yesterday Cameron said it in the House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions.

[Edited at 2015-03-19 21:36 GMT]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:38
Italian to English
The Koala tea of Mersey Mar 19, 2015

Andy Watkinson wrote:

(And I would of thought the Liver buildings would of been enough to guess where I'm from) )



Popped over from Birkenhead for the day?

Actually, I rather like your pic because it reminds me of my favourite appalling pun (google the title of this post if you don't know it).


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Neptunia
Local time: 13:38
Italian to English
I get it now... Mar 19, 2015

So either Cameron mangled it or he is on to the new usage before the rest of us. In any case, I have heard the expression used mostly about overpacking not throwing but from now on I'll be looking for it.

I'm throwing the towel.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not only Cameron Mar 19, 2015

Neptunia wrote:

So either Cameron mangled it or he is on to the new usage before the rest of us. In any case, I have heard the expression used mostly about overpacking not throwing but from now on I'll be looking for it.

I'm throwing the towel.


It isn't only Cameron - it's everyone - journalists included. I feel like throwing the trowel at them, but that's only because I have a cross to grind.



[Edited at 2015-03-19 23:08 GMT]


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