All singing, all dancing


What's the meaning of the phrase 'All singing, all dancing'?

Other phrases:

Full of verve and vitality; more recently – with many features or attributes.

What's the origin of the phrase 'All singing, all dancing'?

From the advertising posters used to promote the 1929 film Broadway Melody – the first musical film – which proclaimed it to be ‘All talking All singing All dancing’.

That was a literal description of the film, but was also intended to suggest a sense of vitality and excitement that the phrase is now used to convey.

In more recent years the term has been applied to high-tech equipment, computers, cars etc. in order to draw attention to their abundant features; for example, this from The Daily Telegraph, November 1995:

“Satellites as small as a box of cornflakes can be launched at little cost by riding piggyback with larger satellites. A handful of these ‘microsatellites’ would be used instead of a single all-singing all-dancing ‘platform’ bristling with instruments.”

Trend of all singing in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.