another 1964 "the whole nine yards"? (UNCLASSIFIED)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 26 00:01:27 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 1:11 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC
<Bill.Mullins at> shared:

> "It must have been a lot of work to provide a little happiness for a lot
> of guys, and we of the 'Whole Nine Yards' barracks want to thank you."
> So, by 1970, the phrase was common enough in Vietnam to use as a name
> for a barracks.

A year or two ago I found in Google Books a Vietnam-era reference to a
"FSB Nine Yards."  Here I don't know whether "FSB" designated a
Forward Support Battalion or a Fire Support Base.  In any event, this
group was affiliated with the 82nd Airborne Division and was involved
in action in Vietnam.  (In fact, I'm pretty sure this snippet appeared
in a history of the 82nd Airborne, but I didn't think to save what I
had seen and now it seems to have vanished.)  I made contact with the
82nd Airborne historian at Fort Bragg and asked whether he knew
anything about this unit (particularly what significance its name
held).  Unfortunately, he had nothing on this.  (And he didn't seem
too impressed with my reason for asking about the unit.)

I assume that "FSB Nine Yards" was related to "the [whole/full] nine
yards."  I'm certain, though, that it was just "FSB Nine Yards."

-- Bonnie

The American Dialect Society -

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