"the whole nine yards" 1942

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Fri Jul 13 03:57:08 UTC 2007

From: <Bapopik at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: "the whole nine yards" 1942

> In a message dated 7/12/2007 12:49:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> goranson at DUKE.EDU writes:
> 1942 9  shipyards (and their productivity levels)
> 1964 "an item by item  report"
> 1966 every title on a record albumn
> 1966 "Then [in addition to  the above-mentioned items, e.g., self-sealing
> tanks],
> two-engines, two  pilots and the rest, the nine yards of things"--i.e.,
> not a
> 9-yards-long  listing
> 1967 "a trim, shampoo, and shave, massaged him from waist to ears,  then
> trapped
> his stubborn curls under a hairnet"
> 1967 knot of marriage  untangled
> 1967 sex morning till night; beds everywhere
> 1968 [meaning  "all the way"--not an example of usage]
> 1969 on Ann-Margaret: "She's got  everything going for her.  She dances,
> sings, acts---the whole nine  yards."
> The Ann-Margret (not "Margaret") citation in the Pacific Stars and Stripes
> is from 11-13-1927, not 1969.

{I'm sure Barry means 1967, not 1927.  While the databases often conspire to
defeat the world's champion researcher, I think this was Barry's typo, not a
database anomaly.  :)

>Also, there's this cite:
> ...
> 23 December 1967, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, pg. 3A, col. 8:
> Like most of the invisible air force, George wasn't quite sure it was all
> right to mention that he isn't at his home in Alabama. Here's his somewhat
> reluctant story:
> ...
> "We had just dumped our load on the railroad yards near Hanoi when Charlie
> poured everything at us...flak, Sams, Migs...the whole nine  yards."

Interesting.  I hadn't seen that before.  I'm sure, thought, that this is a
reference to the nine railroad yards, which was derived from the "whole nine
shipyards" cited earlier.  I'm sure.

Sam Clements

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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