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Re: The whole shebang

Posted by GPP on October 17, 2003

In Reply to: The whole shabang posted by Lotg on October 17, 2003

: Is shabang actually a word? I'm not sure about the spelling either. This has an American sound to it. Maybe even Jewish American. Does anyone know the origin of this term?

Here's one theory; but the whole subject is very contentious:

The Whole Shebang
What is a shebang? And how did it come to mean an entirety of something?
A shebang, or chebang, is a hut or dwelling. Its of unknown origin and dates to the early 1860s. Mark Twain, in an 1869 letter to his publisher, is the first to use the phrase the whole chebang in its modern sense of the entirety. The transition from building (and everything in it) to the whole thing is a pretty natural one.