Full Monty (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Full Monty"?

The term "Full Monty" means the whole thing or all the way.
Full Monty (Origin)
The Monty in "the full Monty" refers to Field Marshall Montgomery, who insisted on his troops eating a full English breakfast every day. Soldiers serving under Montgomery named a full breakfast after him, and subsequently anything done to the full extent was a "full Monty."

Competing Theory

The term "the full Monty" originates from the tailoring industry in the 1900s. Specifically, it derives from the tailoring business of Sir Montague Burton. Anyone who bought a full three-piece suit (i.e., jacket, trousers, and waistcoat) would have gone the "full Monty." (Note that "Monty" is given a capital letter in this meaning because it is short for Montague, i.e., it's a proper noun.)

Competing Theory

In Spain, a pile of playing cards was called a monte. Therefore, a game with "the full monty" involved all the cards.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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