[Ads-l] "Full Nine Yards" from 1894

Baker, John JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM
Mon Aug 10 03:30:08 UTC 2015


Bonnie's linked source does seem to strongly suggest that 9 yards was a standard length for thigh bandages. This also addresses an issue about the quotation that had seemed odd to me. I had supposed that the quoted language, "do not be stingy with your bandage, but use the full nine yards," meant simply "use a lot of bandage" - a meaning in contrast with the standard meaning of "full 9 yards" as "all of it." If leg bandages normally were 9 yards long, the lecturer did mean to use the entire bandage, but he had a literal, not figurative, meaning in mind. 

This raises the question whether 9 yards originally referred to bandages. I think we would need much stronger evidence than this to think so. Certainly there is nothing in the early quotations from Mitchell, Indiana, to suggest bandages. 


John Baker


Sent from my iPad

> On Aug 9, 2015, at 10:20 PM, Bonnie Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> On Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 7:16 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> To supplement my previous post: Below is a short link to the desired
>> location together with a longer excerpt mentioning four different
>> bandage lengths. Nine yards was the longest.
>> 
>> Year: 1918
>> Title: The Treatment of Emergencies
>> Author: Hubley R. Owen M.D.
>> Publisher: W.B. Saunders Company
>> Quote Page 206 and 207
> 
> Yes, and specifications for a nine-yard-long bandage go back at least
> to 1891.  (Doug Wilson had mentioned this earlier today.  I stopped
> looking for other instances once I got back to 1891.)  Note that a
> 30-foot bandage was apparently required for injuries of the trunk!
> 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=AtnDNiUjn0sC&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=%22nine+yards%22+bandage&source=bl&ots=2b70Vx-8xL&sig=I29ciFGRr4DhyUNC3-rKPhInlXQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAWoVChMI2tOOn-qcxwIViIwNCh1GYQ_l#v=onepage&q=%22nine%20yards%22%20bandage&f=false
> 
> or http://tinyurl.com/q3mpz3g
> 
> -- Bonnie
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 

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