another 1964 "the whole nine yards"

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Fri Jul 29 10:03:51 UTC 2011

I now have a copy of Charles "Chick" Coombs, Aerospace Pilot (NY: Morrow, 1964). The following is a paragraph from Chapter 12, Toward the Unknown, page 164:

Before going to Edwards, you are sent to the School of Aerospace Medicine, located at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. At Brooks they put you through the whole "nine yards," as they say, of exhaustive physiological tests--everything from pressure chambers to treadmills. You emerge feeling battered, but you pass the physical in good shape.

Stephen Goranson
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Stephen Goranson [goranson at DUKE.EDU]
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 5:33 AM
Subject: [ADS-L] another 1964 "the whole nine yards"?

Previously, Sam Clements found a syndicated newspaper article about NASA slang by Stephen Trumbull (sometimes misspelled Trumbell} published on various April 1964 dates. It includes: "'Give 'em the whole nine yards' means an item-by-item report on any project." (The earliest known published idiomatic use of "the whole nine yards" is from 1962.)

Currently, Google Books returns for the search "the whole nine yards"--but not for the search "give * the whole nine yards"--a 1964 book, given here in its WorldCat listing:
Aerospace pilot /
Charles Ira Coombs
English Book Book : Juvenile audience 224 p. : ill., photos ; 22 cm.
New York : Morrow,

I have entered an interlibrary loan request, but if anyone else cares to look it up (WorldCat lists 122 libraries),
feel free.

Stephen Goranson

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