All in All – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did you enjoy a night out with friends? All in all, you could say it was a great experience. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The expression ‘all in all’ means that you’ve taken everything into account and made a judgment call on something, someone, or someplace.

‘All in all’ means that you considered all the aspects of something, and you’re either happy, dissatisfied, or neutral with your feelings about it.

Example Usage

“All in all, it wasn’t a bad day at the park. The kids had fun and enjoyed a tasty picnic near the waterfall. It was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.”

“All in all, I think he’s a good guy. You can’t judge someone on one mistake they make. We’re all human, and he deserves a second chance.”

“All in all, I think it’s a great investment. Sure, you could get better returns in other asset classes, but there’s more risk involved. This is a sure thing.”

“All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall. Pink Floyd had it right. What we do individually barely makes a difference to society as a whole.”

“I think that all in all, the event was a success. We captured new clients, made a few sales, and grew our reputation in the market. What else can we ask for with it?”

“All in all, the team’s performance was okay, but I think they can do better. Give them a day off and then drill them hard in practice this week.”

“All in all, I’m happy with the results. You can send the invoice to my email address, and I’ll have the VA sort it out.”

“All in all, there’s no way we could have expected better from this performance. I think that all things considered, we didn’t do too badly.”

“all in all, there’s nothing else we could expect from this outcome. We tried everything, and it didn’t work. Time to get back to the drawing board.”

Origin

The expression ‘all in all’ originates from the Holy Bible. This proverbial saying appears in ‘1 Corinthians 15:28’ in the ‘Great Bible’ version of the text, published in 1539, where it appears as follows.

“That God maye be all in all.”

‘All in all’ in this context refers to the omnipresence of the Christian God, being ‘all things in all places at once.’

The modern version of the saying means ‘with all things considered.’ Appears in the 19th century in a piece from ‘The Edinburgh Advertiser,’ published in July 1829, as follows.

“We saw the second night of “Peter Wilkins,” a piece, taking it all in all, we never saw got up better in or out of London.”

Phrases Similar to All in All

  • All told.
  • All around.
  • Alltogether.

Phrases Opposite to All in All

  • Incompletely.
  • Partially.
  • Partly.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • All in all.

Ways People May Say All in All Incorrectly

Some might confuse the phrase with ‘all in,’ a common gambling term referencing betting the entire pot on a hand of cards or turn of the roulette wheel. ‘All in all’ has nothing to do with gambling. It’s common to hear people quote the saying out of the Pink Floyd song, ‘Brick in the Wall.’

Acceptable Ways to Phrase All in All

You can use ‘all in all’ when you want to express to someone that you’ve taken all things in the situation into account. The phrase suits professional and social conversations. For instance, you could tell your boss that ‘all in all’ the project seems to be running on-track to meet the deadline, and you don’t expect any problems to arise.

Or you could tell your partner that ‘all in all,’ the restaurant experience was pleasant, even if they didn’t have the bottle of wine you wanted with the meal. It’s a way of describing a general approval or disappointment of something, someone, or someplace.

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