Big List: “Full Monty” Antedated to 1979
Posted: 10 February 2013 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Fred Shapiro scores another one.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 01:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I used to own a couple of suits from (Montague) Burton’s; they were not expensive, and that is the whole point.

A three piece ready-made suit was a reasonable price and as the shirt and tie were available from the same shop, you could march out wearing the fully monty.

I have no proof of course, but I will not be convinced that the idiom comes from anywhere else.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have no proof of course, but I will not be convinced that the idiom comes from anywhere else.

But evidence is everything in this business. It is rather unlikely that this particular explanation is the actual source of the phrase.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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they were not expensive, and that is the whole point.

That indeed is the whole point. The fact that the store could use the expression for the purpose of irony suggests that the expression had been around long enough to make it useful.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t think that’s a very convincing argument against the claim for an origin with the store. The initial use could have been literal and unironic, referring to the entire kit that could be purchased there.

A better argument against the store’s claim is the context of the first citation, which doesn’t refer to inexpensive clothing, but rather quite the opposite: ostentatious and affected dress and jewelry that signals importance and (pretensions to) higher social status. The A&R person referred to clearly did not buy his clothes at Burton’s. (It’s also interesting that the citation refers to dress, not lack thereof.)

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Posted: 11 February 2013 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I have no proof of course, but I will not be convinced that the idiom comes from anywhere else.

It seems to me I’ve heard those words, or others like them, many times before, and in a variety of contexts.

Our Hebrew sages (of blessed memory) had a saying: ashrei hama’amin --- “Happy is he who believes”.

The Italians (bless them, too) have a saying: se non è vero, è ben trovato --- “Even if not true, it’s a good invention”

;-)

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Posted: 11 February 2013 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I will not be convinced that the idiom comes from anywhere else.

I wish more posters who are immune to evidence and reason would adopt this practice of announcing it in their first post.  It would save a great deal of wasted time.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Dr. Techie - 11 February 2013 07:55 AM

I will not be convinced that the idiom comes from anywhere else.

I wish more posters who are immune to evidence and reason would adopt this practice of announcing it in their first post.  It would save a great deal of wasted time.

Oh dear, I should really have read more of the posts before introducing the concept of irony.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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You probably should have posted a bit more before working in the irony. Irony is appreciated here, it’s just we need some experience with the person making the ironic content in order to recognize the irony.

There’s probably some corollary to Poe’s Law in here somewhere.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Oh dear, I should really have read more of the posts before introducing the concept of irony.

You probably should have read more of the posts before assuming that we don’t get people who can say things like “I have no proof of course, but I will not be convinced that the idiom comes from anywhere else,” and mean them quite literally.

[ Edited: 11 February 2013 10:15 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 11 February 2013 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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My non-educated guess, from the listed suggestions for the origin, is that “the full monty” refers to Montgomery’s medals - medals/crown jewels being a euphemism for the male genitalia. Allegedly.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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It comes from Field Marshall Montgomery’s standing order to all machine gun squads that they never go into battle without a full nine yards of ammunition.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I suspect it will turn out that the phrase was originally “the full lonty”, and became Monty through mere lexicographical drift.  (Also, it will turn out that “lonty” stood for nothing in particular.)

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Posted: 15 February 2013 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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It’s odd that the British gentlemen’s outfitters Montague Burton should be cited as the possible origin of two mysterious phrases, “the full monty”, and also ”gone for a Burton”. Time to start a canard that “the whole nine yards” refers to the length of cloth used by tailors at Montague Burton to make a suit jacket, waistcoat and two pairs of trousers (one being spare) ...

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Posted: 15 February 2013 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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It originally meant to do something fiercely, and is a corruption of fulminatory.

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Posted: 15 February 2013 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Actually, it’s originally “The Full Mountie”, a reference to the costume (correct in every detail, apart from the long johns, which were the wrong shade of red) worn by Nelson Eddy in the movie “Rose Marie” (cite antedated to 1935 from MGM archives, mercifully long buried).

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