lock stock and barrel

Lock, stock, and barrel

Lock, stock, and barrel is a merism used predominantely in the United Kingdom and North America meaning 'all', 'total', 'everything'. The term itself derives from the components of a musket: the 'lock' being the firing mechanism, 'stock' being the wooden butt-end of the gun, and 'barrel' being the cylindrical component, concurring 'all' the components of the gun.

Another interpretation could be business related: i.e., one would own "the lock" as in the building, stock as in the stock exchange, investments, etc., and "barrel" as in all inventory, etc.


The term was first recorded in the letters of Sir Walter Scott in 1817, in the line "Like the High-landman's gun, she wants stock, lock, and barrel, to put her into repair". It is, however, thought that this term evolved into a popular saying some years before in England.


Further: Lock Stock & Barrel is a book dealing with the restoration and repair of antique firearms, in two volumes. Illustrated and written in tutorial fashion, it was authored and published by R.H McCrory, now of Ardmore, OK. The first Lock Stock & Barrel was published in 1966 and Lock Stock & Barrel-Vol Two was published around 1992. It is the only substantial offering on the subject published on its subject to date. At last report it was being offered in re-print by Dixie Gun Works, Union City, TN

The title Lock, stock, & Barrel is also the title of an artbook by Darci Robbins. The artbook includes pinup illustrations, character biographies, and concept work of the up-coming webcomic titled "La Cosa Nostra"; which is about a young girl being thrown into the world of crime and hatred, that is the mafia.

Lock, stock, and barrel is also referenced in the title to the Guy Ritchie movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, as well as in the title of Jerry Thorpe's 1971 Western film Lock, Stock and Barrel.

Also, Officer Lockstock and Officer Barrel are two characters from Urinetown: the Musical. Another musical that used it was the animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton featured three infamous children, the 'Trick or Treaters' 'Lock', 'Shock' and 'Barrel'.

Search another word or see lock stock and barrelon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature