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Throw the Kitchen Sink Idiom: Origin, Meaning and Synonyms

Throw the Kitchen Sink

The throw the kitchen sink phrase encourages somebody to do everything they can to solve a problem.

It’s useful when you’ve got a deadline and feel you need an extra helping hand, if possible. Read on.

What Throw the Kitchen Sink Means?

Throw the kitchen sink phrase means to put all your resources into a project. By throwing the kitchen sink, you mean you are using all your resources to complete a task.


The phrase “Throw the kitchen sink at it” is an American idiom that means to put everything into a project.

This expression came from the Civil War when soldiers used to carry so much gear that they would throw the kitchen sink on their horses to make them ride more quickly.

It’s also been used in other contexts to describe people who take on too many projects at once.

How to Use ‘Throw the Kitchen Sink’ Phrase Well

The phrase “throw the kitchen sink” has become a cliché because it’s used often and in many contexts. But, like all clichés, there are ways to use it well by ensuring you use it properly.

To understand how to use “throw the kitchen sink” effectively, let’s look at some examples of when it’s appropriate and inappropriate.

When to Use ‘Throw the Kitchen Sink’

You can use “throw the kitchen sink” when describing something that is getting too much attention or when you want to emphasize the amount of work involved in something. For example:

using kitchen sink

“We had to throw the kitchen sink into making this website.” – This is an effective way to emphasize how much time and effort went into creating this website.

“I wanted to throw myself a party, but my boss said I had to throw the kitchen sink into my job instead.” – This is another way to emphasize how much work is involved in making this decision.

 Instances when not to Use Throwing the Kitchen Sink

 You can use this phrase in various situations only if it calls for it. Don’t use throwing the kitchen sink when:

  • You are talking about someone who throws everything into their job. You might say, “I know what you mean. I’ve been working on this project, and now I’m throwing the kitchen sink into it.”

This statement is ineffective because it doesn’t convey what the person did or how they felt about doing it. It also makes you sound lazy — like you’re just tossing everything at your job willy-nilly.

  • You are talking about a huge project you must work on with all your heart and soul (or something similar).

In this case, you don’t want to say that you’re throwing every resource at your project because then there’s no way for people to tell if you’re just being dramatic or if you mean it.

Also, this phrase is not appropriate for marketing or salespeople for two reasons:

  • It’s too long:  The average person will not read your copy from end to end. They will scan it quickly and then move on to something else. They won’t give it a second look if they’re not interested in your product or service.
  • It doesn’t communicate any value proposition: Throwing the kitchen sink implies that you have something great and you’re going all out with it, but what does that mean? Does it mean that you’re launching multiple products at once?

That the new product line has been designed specifically for this launch? That this product is so revolutionary that it will change everything? Maybe, maybe not…but without a clear value proposition behind the phrase, it’s unlikely that people will buy into what you’re selling.

know the origin

 Origin of Throw the Kitchen Sink

The term has been around for many years and was most commonly used in the 1960s and 1970s, but it has recently made a comeback as a popular internet meme.

The origin of this phrase is unknown, but it’s thought to have originated during World War II.

During this period, soldiers would use anything they had available to throw at their enemies, including kitchen sink appliances (you know, like your everyday sink), to kill them.

When these men came home from battle, they often told stories about using kitchen sinks as weapons against their enemies. This led to the widespread use of the phrase “Throw the kitchen sink” for any type of situation where you’re throwing something at someone or something else.

Synonyms of Throw the Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink is a phrase that refers to the many activities and tasks that need to be done. The phrase can be used when someone is overwhelmed with work and needs to get things done as quickly as possible, as indicated in the following synonyms:

  • Throw the kitchen sink.
  • Throw everything and the kitchen sink at it.
  • Throw everything at it.
  • Throw your weight around.
  • Throw your weight into it.
  • Throw yourself (into) it.
  • Throwing away the kitchen sink.
  • Overload
  • To the max
  • To the brim
  • A sea of options and choices, too many to choose from.

Meaning of Threw it down in the Kitchen

The phrase ‘threw it down in the kitchen’ describes a situation where a person has been given an order or some other direction but deliberately disobeyed it. It is also used to describe a situation where a person has been given order but has ignored it and done something else.

The phrase can be used either positively or negatively depending on the context in which it is used.

If someone throws something down in the kitchen and you ask them why they did so, they may respond by saying that they ‘threw it down in the kitchen. This means that they were obeying your instructions and doing their job properly.

However, if someone throws something down in the kitchen and you ask them why they did so, they may respond by saying that ‘he threw it down in the kitchen.

In this case, what happened was that this person did not listen to what you were telling him or her and decided to ignore your instructions completely.