(Soup to Nuts is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Soup to Nuts
One of the many issues with soup to nuts is that it often follows the words “everything from” as in “this includes everything from soup to nuts.”
Of course, the word “everything” already indicates this includes… well… everything. Adding soup to nuts after “everything from” becomes annoyingly redundant.
Another major irritant with this phrase is its age.
Anyone using soup to nuts in your office today should be banished… to a retirement home. With origins in the nineteenth century (that’s the 1800s for the ordinally-challenged among you), soup to nuts should’ve run its course decades ago.
Unfortunately, it did not.
While the original meaning of soup to nuts was basically “beginning to end” (in reference to a typical multi-course dinner in the 1800s, which might begin with a bowl of soup and end with a serving of nuts), it’s now simply used in business to describe “everything.”
Given the typical multi-course dinner today begins with a Big Mac and ends with one of those ever-shrinking, though always lava-hot centered Baked Apple Pies, we think we can all agree soup to nuts sounds… well… nuts.
Certainly, it would be great if we could ignore those still holding a spot for soup to nuts in their vocabulary, but that’s not always possible or practical. In lieu of ignoring them, we recommend always replying, “Twenty-three skidoo,” when an annoying manager utters this antique phrase.
Replacement phrases: Everything
See also: Warts and All
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon