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go the whole hog

do something as completely as possible


go the whole hog = aufs Ganze gehen; wenn schon, denn schon



The man went back inside and returned with a copy of the Saturday Evening Post, telling Shultz ... “You had to GO THE WHOLE HOG one way or the other,”

Binyamin Appelbaum in The Economist

Bidders GO THE WHOLE HOG as Harley-Davidson makes $600,000 at Melbourne auction.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Did you

go the whole hog

- do something as completely as possible

(Cambridge Dictionary)


Hog is another name for pig. One theory of the idiom's origin is that it comes from a little known satirical work from 1779 by the English poet, William Cowper, and has a strange relevance to today.

In the poem, because the Qur'an is not completely clear on whether eating pork is forbidden absolutely, Muslims sample various parts of a hog to determine whether any of it is acceptable. Finally, they have eaten the entire pig.

The expression showed up in American newspapers beginning in the 1820s, and remains a primarily US saying, most commonly as "go whole hog".

Another theory is more straightforward. If you buy an entire pig at the butcher's shop, the cost per pound of the meat is lower, so the whole hog is a better deal.

Another similar-sounding expression is "go hog wild". This means to become overly excited about something (The crowd went hog wild when the band came on stage).


go all out, go the limit, bet the farm/ranch, go for broke, pull out all the stops, put one's heart and soul into it, shoot the works

Practice OWAD in a conversation

"Film stars, sports sponsoring, TV commercials - the company is GOING THE WHOLE HOG for the new product launch."

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