We’ve all heard of someone who vanished into thin air without a trace left behind. They just up and left, and took all with them, lock stock and barrel – the whole shebang. They left nothing behind.
Just like those nomads in Mangolia, who, every autumn leave the mountainous regions for sunnier pastures below before winter sets in. They take everything with them, not an iota stays behind, not even their houses, and least of all, their animals. Lock and stock and barrel in hand, they head off on this massive journey where they will find longer grass for their animals and warmer temperatures in the sheltered valley below.
I can’t help it but this expression leaves me thinking that we are in the wild west of America, back in the 19th century, heading out west to better prospects, in search of gold perhaps. We carry with us our entire possessions and they come with us everywhere. One day we’re in Illinois, the next day Kansas, and the following day we fold up camp and move on to Colorado bringing lock, stock and barrel with us.
And the barrel? Does that refer to a gun? Well, yes, it does, and so do the lock and the stock. These are all parts of, and together make up, the entire gun. That is where this expression is believed to have come from.
America, the land of the free and the brave. The country where everyone is entitled to go around with their lock, stock and barrel in hand, defending what is rightfully theirs. Now I digress and take to ranting so I’ll take my leave and go on my merry way with my own lock, stock and barrel (which is not a gun) and I’ll bid you adieu.