Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Kit and Caboodle

Posted by Elyse Bruce on March 2, 2010

The word boodle comes from the Middle Dutch word boedel meaning “estate” and became part of the English language in 1833.    In 1848, the prefix “ca” was added to the word boodle to mean a considerable amount of property or a large amount of money.

The word kit has been part of the English language since the 14th Century and refers to a collection of tools or implements required by a tradesman.  Thieves, just like any other trade, had kits which gave them access to homes and businesses that were otherwise safeguarded by locks.

And so, a thief with a kit could make off with the caboodle from someone’s home or business without having to pay a penny for everything stolen.  And if he was never arrested for the theft, it was said he had made off with the whole kit and caboodle.

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