0

There is an idiom to cover the waterfront:

to deal with every detail concerning a specific topic

[McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs via TFD]

Could you say thank you for covering the waterfront when someone has finished explaining things?

Also, can you say "we'll cover the waterfront"? for instance, when starting a partnership with a company? I'm intending to say we will help you in every details in setting up your business— "of course, we will cover the waterfront, and support you, etc."

  • 3
    Idioms are strange beasts. I'd think that 'Thank you: you've certainly covered the waterfront' sounds more natural. In the second example, I think 'cover all bases ' works better. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 9 '16 at 22:58
  • 2
    I have never heard anybody use this phrase, in any form, in real life. Moreover, I can't even imagine myself using it, unlike say "kick the bucket" or "screw the pooch." Too many syllables, I think. – Doug Glancy Mar 10 '16 at 2:37
  • 2
    This is a uncommon idiom, so it may not sound natural, and may confuse non-native speakers. Personally, I'd avoid it for something more natural. I used to say "soup to nuts" before I realized half the people had no idea what I meant. – jimm101 Mar 10 '16 at 3:08
2

Probably not. The idiom "cover the waterfront" is derived from the title of the 1932 book "I Cover The Waterfront", which was adapted into a movie and inspired a song in the following year. All three have largely passed out of public consciousness nowadays, so the phrase would probably not be understood as intended.

As replacements, consider "covering the bases" for the sense of being all-inclusive, or "filling me in" in the context of thanking someone for an explanation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.