My mother wasn’t one hundred percent on board.

Is this a proverb?

The full text is:

“Yes, we did argue that night, but it was nothing serious. Just a bit of tension, wedding jitters, you know? She was finding it stressful.” “She was finding what stressful, exactly?” “The wedding preparations. Dealing with my family. They can be a bit . . . difficult. Intimidating.” “Your family wasn’t happy about the wedding?” “I wouldn’t say that, exactly.” He looks away. “My mother wasn’t one hundred percent on board, but I loved Dana. And she knew I was going to marry her.”

2 Answers 2


When you are on board in the figurative sense, it means that you are willing to participate or that you find some plan agreeable.

We're going to the movies Saturday night. Are you on board?

That is, do you want to come along?

We wanted to rearrange our desks but our office manager was not on board.

That is, our office manager did not like the idea (and nixed the plan).

  • +1 for concentrating on "on board." In fact I hadn't understood the meaning of "on board."
    – Peace
    Sep 18, 2018 at 11:24
  • 1
    @Peace - they fail to mention it, but “on board” is also an idiomatic expression, often used figuratively. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/on+board
    – user29952
    Sep 18, 2018 at 12:10
  • 1
    On board in the OP's example is a nearly dead metaphor: you are either on board a ship or not. You cannot be less than 100% on board unless you are not on board at all. The problem with nearly dead metaphors, a stylistic problem, is that some readers will still envisage a ship with the mother not quite on board (climbing up a rope ladder?).
    – JeremyC
    Sep 18, 2018 at 16:50
  • I imagine you could be 50% on board, one leg still on the gangplank. But I would say not fully on board. google.com/…
    – TimR
    Sep 18, 2018 at 16:59

One hundred percent is indeed used to mean "fully" or "completely".

It's listed in Cambridge with examples related to agreement and health:

I agree with you one hundred percent.

I'm better than I was last week but I'm still not (feeling) a hundred percent.
(= I'm not completely well).

It's also often used to describe strong effort and full dedication:

She is dependable and consistent; she gives one hundred percent to pick up every ball, and leads well by example on the court.


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