Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 22:28:01 -0600


Subject: The full Monty

Leslie Dunkling asked me to post this information for the benefit of

adslers who hae been looking for explanations of 'the full monty'.

I have had to stop lurking on the ADS list - at least temporarily - owing

to pressure of other interests, but before I left the list there was some

interest in the origin of the phrase "the full Monty." This was something I

had never heard until the film appeared, nor was the phrase familiar to any

of my linguistically-interested friends. I even had an e-mail from a

professor of English asking me whether I knew anything about it.

A suggestion has now been made which I think justifies serious

consideration. In Britain there is a long-established chain of tailors

called Burtons. The shops were formerly known as Montague Burton's,

presumably for the man who founded them. The suggestion is that "the full

Monty" originally referred to a complete man's outfit bought from Montague

Burton's, a suit with waistcoat - the whole caboodle, in other words.

(There's another phrase to conjure with!)

In favour of this idea is the fact that at one time there was a branch of

Montague Burton's in nearly every high street, including the area of

England where the film was set. But this phrase has never been in general

use throughout the country. Whatever its origin, it was never more than a

local piece of slang.

Do pass on the gist of this to ADS members if you think they will be