All wool and a yard wide

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Wed Jan 7 09:30:21 UTC 2004

Thanks to Erin McKean and Doug Wilson for their comments. My existing
piece on the phrase does suggest that it arose through a connection
with the physical width of the cloth, which was why I was intrigued
to receive a suggestion that it might be from an advertising slogan,
as has been suggested in the past, and a specific one at that. It
looks from the evidence I've seen that it was an elaboration of the
older "all wool" for something first-class, which is recorded from
the period of the Civil War.
Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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