the whole nine 'yards

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Dec 27 14:38:51 UTC 2004

Thanks to those who found additional attestations of the whole or full nine
yards. The latest ones, I suggest, strengthen "Smash" Chandler as a probably
important tradent of the phrase. Remember "whole smash" used as a gloss in
1970. But still second only in importance to the book DOOM Pussy, not to be
confused with DOOM Pussy II.

It remains the case that that book has the earliest known secure uses of whole
and full nine yards. And it remains the case that it prominently features
Montagnards, also there called yards. It's still there. And machine guns--not
prominent, as I recall. And the 1972 novel by a Vietnam Vet SF still
prominently features Montagnards.

Robert L. Mole wrote of the nine Montagnard tribes of I Corps area, an area
including Danang. He was quite well aware of tribes elsewhere, and of differing
total number estimates. He used the Summer Language Institute taxonomy,
himself, with a different total number, posted here before, IIRC.

It might help if we knew the real first name of "Smash," who died "in the early
90's." I'm on (and off) a horrible internet connection now; can't search
very well now. I can say a Robert W, USAF is too late. A Kenneth D. won a 1957
pilot award. Does D. P. II include his first name? (The book is not at hand.)

If I may still say so, Montagnards as 'yards, the nine Mole taught, is still
the most plausible proposal. If not yet ineluctable, it is not far to seek. The
occasional incuriosity--even on this of all lists--itself perhaps explainable.

Stephen Goranson

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