• I tend to think about it as "a full course eating experience". You start out with soup or salad and then you end up with a dessert that could consist of something like nuts. When I visit a buffet table, it's a similar thing... I can start out with appetizer and finish with a dessert item.
  • It means from the very beginning to the very end, including everything in between.
  • 1. (of a meal) complete or impressive in number of courses. 2. Informal.complete; all-inclusive. Origin: 1935–40, Americanism Part of Speech: phrase Definition: from beginning to end; all of the courses or parts. Usage: used with 'from' To include or cover everything, as in a full, multicourse meal. Origin of the phrase is from formal dinners that started with a soup course and ended with the last course being a plate of mixed nuts. They're the courses in a (Victorian?) formal banquet. Soup is the first course, and the nuts are served with the brandy and cigars as the gentlemen retire to the billiards room. "ab ova ad malum" (Latin) which means from eggs to apples - much the same idea of a complete dinner from appetizers to desserts.

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