Kit and Kaboodle - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you planning on going on vacation? If you're stacking piles of luggage into the car to prepare for any scenario, you're taking the entire "kit and caboodle" with you.

Kit and kaboodle isn't a very popular phrase, but it still has plenty of use cases in today's society. For instance, the pet food brand Purina names one of its products, the "Kit and Kaboodle," in reference to giving your cat all the nutrition it needs from the food.

Typically, you'll use this term in casual conversation, not formal scenarios, as it's mostly a slang term today. This post unpacks everything you need to know about the history and origins of this phrase and how you can use it in conversation.

Kit and Kaboodle Meaning

"Kit and kaboodle" refers to taking everything with you or covering all your bases in preparation for your needs.

The whole kit and Kaboodle refers to a suggestion that someone is overdoing their preparation, or it could be a reference to get someone to pack more items. Typically, the "kit" refers to possessions.

"Kaboodle" is another slang word for possessions, and it also exists in the alternative spelling of "Caboodle" with the letter "c" replacing the "k."

Kit and Kaboodle Example Usage

Some of the ways you can use the slang phrase "Kit and Kaboodle" are the following.

  • We're going out into the field, and we packed the entire kit and kaboodle.
  • Are you going on vacation? Are you taking the whole kit and kaboodle with you?
  • Why is your car so full of bags for your field trip? Are you taking the entire kit and kaboodle with you?

Kit and Kaboodle Origin

The origin of Kit and Kaboodle comes from 18th century England. The word "kith" refers to an estate. Therefore, "the entire kith" would refer to all the contents of the estate. Soldiers in the 1700s would also carry a kitbag with them when going into battle, known as the "kaboodle."

Some language experts suggest that kaboodle (or the alternative spelling “caboodle”) comes from the description of a collection of people or items. Caboodle may also refer to a legal term for estate, coming from the Dutch, "boedel" meaning "inheritance."

Phrases Similar to Kit and Kaboodle

There are a few phrases and idioms that have a similar meaning to Kit and Kaboodle.

  • Kit and Caboodle. (Alternative spelling)
  • Covering all your bases.
  • Take the kitchen sink with you.
  • Everything you own.
  • Leave nothing behind.

Phrases Opposite to Kit and Kaboodle

If kit and kaboodle refers to taking everything with you, then the opposite of the phrase would be to leave everything behind. Here are a few examples of the opposite of this slang phrase.

  • Toss it all out.
  • Leave it all behind.
  • Going minimalist.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Kit and Kaboodle.
  • Kit and Caboodle.

The spelling for the "K" and the "C" in "Kaboodle" are interchangeable. However, the Kaboodle version might have its origins in the United States.

Ways People May Say Kit and Kaboodle Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase out of context to refer to something. Kit and Kaboodle are not suitable to use if you see someone packing a single daypack or their handbag. Using the "kit and kaboodle" phrase for light packing descriptions is hyperbole.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Kit and Kaboodle

Kit and Kaboodle is a suitable term for describing someone taking their packing too far or being well-prepared for a challenge.

You can use this term between friends, but the chances are that not many of them will know what you are referencing or how it applies to their situation. Explaining it to them could make you appear pretentious.

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