lock, stock, and barrel

This phrase, meaning completely or thoroughly, is another phrase originally referring to firearms. In this case, it refers to the three major parts of a musket, the firing mechanism or lock, the stock which rests against the shoulder, and the barrel. The phrase was originally reversed, first appearing in an 1817 letter by Sir Walter Scott as stock, lock, and barrel:

Like the High-landman’s gun, she wants stock, lock, and barrel, to put her into repair.

The current sequence dates to 1842 in William T. Thompson’s Major Jones’s Courtship:

All moved, lock, stock, and barrel.

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition)

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