What Do the Expressions “The Full Monty” and “Three-Card Monte” Mean and Where Did the Phrases Originate?

“The full monty,” popularized as a movie title, is a British expression meaning “the whole thing.”

It came from illegal gambling, where the huge pot of a high stakes game was called the monty, from the Spanish word for mountain, which is monte.

To win the monty meant you had won a mountain of money.

Three-card monte, an illegal con game, has the same Spanish origin and refers to the same thing.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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