stumper : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I got the last one so Ill add one.

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from where?

-- Gary (, January 24, 2002


Its a cloth measurement.

-- mitch hearn (, January 24, 2002.


-- Katie (, January 24, 2002.

It is a cloth measurement conserning a specific size, multie layer skirt from the "comming out" era of debutants, in the south just after the civil war; I found this months ago, looking for stumper questions.

-- mitch hearn (, January 24, 2002.

Well I thought it was the length of the ammunition belts in a P51, or was it the P38?

-- john hill (, January 25, 2002.

Ding Ding Ding, John gets the prize and the box of minute rice..

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards".

-- Gary (, January 25, 2002.

Gary, if you will dig a bit deeper, use google to post [whole nine yards origin] you will recieve 14,600 possible answers with the old sailing ships with 3 masts being the most likely. The cross bars that hold the sails are called yardarns and there are 3 per mast, therefore if the ship was at full sail hoisted that would be "the whole nine yards".

-- mitch hearn (, January 25, 2002.

I don't think there's a definite origin.

Read the following:

-- Bruce Harris (, September 15, 2002.

Last entry link was pretty good except others imply its use prior to the 1960's...

Apparent (yet not confirmed) facts: The use precedes WWII; Is used predominantly (but not exclusively) by men; Early 'standard' dump trucks used in the NE & England for delivering coal were 9 cubic yards (as oppose to the current 10-11 yard small dump trucks). They were divided into 3 bins with lever operated doors on each of the removable dividers. I personally remember watching one back up to my Aunt's house & empty one bin into her basement with a coal shoot. Wouldn't seem reasonable that the forecast of a cold winter or a wealthier customer would request the 'whole nine yards'???


-- mark salley (, October 04, 2002.

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