Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 22:28:01 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" 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 >interested.