Kit and caboodle

This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
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Kit and caboodle

Post by Archived Topic » Mon Feb 15, 1999 12:00 am

Do you know the origin of the phrase "the whole kit and caboodle"?
Submitted by Helen Ramsay (Dundas - Canada)
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Kit and caboodle

Post by Jonathon Green » Thu Feb 18, 1999 8:00 am

Kit means simply equipment; caboodle blends the emphatic pfx. 'ker-' with either Du. 'boedel', household effects, and thus one's personal estate, or Scot. 'bodle', a small coin worth two Scot. pence (or one-sixth of an English one) and as such usually glossed as 'worthless'.
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