Soup to Nuts


What does Soup to Nuts mean?

Soup to nuts is an American-English idiom conveying the meaning of “from the beginning to the end”.

The term itself refers to a full meal from the soup as a starter to the nut plate after dessert.


What's the origin of Soup to Nuts?

The phrase in its literal sense was used at the earliest in 1852 The Dublin University Magazine, a Literary and Political Journal in an article describing a dinner at the Irving House, a hotel in New York City.

It was General John McDonald, who first used the term “soup to nuts” in its figurative meaning in 1876.

Spread & Usage

How did Soup to Nuts spread?

From 1900 the idiom skyrocketed in its popularity, and after a short decrease, it approached the summit of its vogue by 1944.

Ever since, it has become a widespread term that appears in publications and journals as well, not just in common language.

In fact, from 1930 many films and tv series episodes got “Soup to nuts” as a title, as well as the American animation studio founded by Tom Snyder in 1980.

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