"the whole nine yards" 1942

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jul 13 18:42:33 UTC 2007

An obvious point that may be getting lost.  The national popularity of "the whole nine yards" from ca1970 was unlikely to have resulted from its appearance in _The Doom Pussy_ and a handful of news stories. By the time Elaine Shepard heard it in 1966, it must have had a fairly wide distribution, at least in the U.S. Air Force.


Sam Clements <SClements at NEO.RR.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Sam Clements
Subject: Re: "the whole nine yards" 1942

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 11:48 PM
Subject: Re: "the whole nine yards" 1942

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."
In case anyone is interested, that new cite is from a USAF pilot who
graduated the USAF Academy in 1965. He went to Thailand in July, 1967, and
flew most of his missions over North Vietnam.

Sam Clements

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

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