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The Whole Shebang

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The origin of “the whole shebang,” meaning “the whole thing,” is somewhat mysterious. It may derive from an Irish word, shabeen, which meant “a disreputable drinking establishment,” then expanded to denote other kinds of structures, including “an encampment.” The phrase “the whole shebang” was popularized during the U.S. Civil War. This is part of a complete episode.

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