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

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 10 19:16:54 UTC 2015


I was about to add my thoughts more lengthily until I saw Garson's message.

Assuming an average leg diameter of about 12 inches and a leg of 30 inches from toes to the top of the thigh (to apply pressure to the full extent of the veins of the leg), the full nine yards would be used up in 27 spiraling turns rising about one inch per turn (which would allow suitable overlap for a two-inch-wide bandage).

Joel

      From: ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Sunday, August 9, 2015 6:52 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "Full Nine Yards" from 1894
   
Below is some evidence that the bandage length of nine yards was
literal. Of course, this also suggests one possible origin for the
metaphorical expression.

Year: 1918
Title: The Treatment of Emergencies
Author: Hubley R. Owen M.D.
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Company
Quote Page 206 and 207

[Begin excerpt]
For bandaging the thigh groin or trunk the bandage should be three
inches wide and nine yards long. For bandaging the head the bandage
should be two inches wide and six yards long.
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 6:33 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:      Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Full Nine Yards" from 1894
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I'm undecided on this.  Wouldn't it be stylistically odd for a physician,
> in a clinical lecture delivered in 1894, to suddenly lapse (esp. without
> quote marks or printed italics) into a highly colloquial manner of speech?
>
> JL
>
> On Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 5:15 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:      Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: "Full Nine Yards" from 1894
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> On Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 4:20 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
>>
>> > this does not appear to be a literal use of "nine yards."
>>
>>
>> Youneverknow.
>>
>> Besides, that this may be a possible *literal* use is far more interesting
>> than yet another early instance of the derived use, wouldn't you say?
>> --
>> -Wilson
>> -----
>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>> -Mark Twain
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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



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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list