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  • 5/12/2013

Go the whole hog



To perform some act or adopt some opinion fully and thoroughly.



'Go the whole hog' is an American expression. Whilst the word 'hog' has been in use in England since the 14th century, by the time that the phrase was coined, 'hog' had been largely superseded there by 'pig'. No one in the UK 'went the whole hog' until the phrase migrated east from the USA in the 1830s. Oddly, although the phrase originated in the USA and other parts of the English-speaking world have adopted it, the Americans themselves gave up on the phrase and now prefer the variant 'go whole hog'.

We can't be 100% sure of the origin of the expression, but it is likely that it derives from a rather obscure satirical work by the English poet and hymn writer, William Cowper.



It was going to cost so much to repair my computer, I thought I might as well go the whole hog and buy a new one. I went whole hog and had a huge steak and French fries.


To go the whole way in a daring and probably ill-fated quest

I had already cut out meat and dairy, so I decided to go the whole hog and become vegan





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