Montagnards & 9 yards proposal

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Jan 25 15:43:02 UTC 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Stephen Goranson
> Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 5:48 AM
> Subject: Re: Montagnards & 9 yards proposal
> Thank you Barry Popik. An excellent suggestion, to look at papers
> such as White
> Elephant News. Informal papers that allow slang, letters, and diaries from
> Vietnam, esp. I Corps
> Area, are likely suspect sources. You the man.
> Thank you Sean Fitzgerald. You gave a very helpful link to
> ane-list; I hope those
> interested in this phrase will read it. As I see it, Rex H.
> McTyreire offered support. He
> went to Ft. Bragg in 1968 and first heard the phrase there, from
> Special Forces Vietnam Vets,
> some wearing Montagnard bracelets. That's support.

I wouldn't call this support for the Montagnard hypothesis. It simply
demonstrates that the term was current in military slang at the
time--something we already knew and which is not in dispute. The hypothesis
is still light on lexical evidence that connects the phrase with the slang
"yards" meaning Montagnards.

Finding the term "nine yards" referring to the Montagnard people as a whole
would be real support.

> By the way, numberwise, google gives several hits for Montenyards
> and mon-ten-YARDS.

This is simply proof of misspellings committed after 1994 (the birth of the
web). There are only about 30 hits each for "montenyard" and "montonyard,"
compared to over 85,000 for "montagnard," clearly indicating that those are
simply random misspellings.

--Dave Wilton
  dave at

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