whole nine yards

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Jun 28 10:10:07 UTC 2000

On Tue, 27 Jun 2000, Alice Faber wrote:

> (which, despite being one of the few linguists participating, I tend
> to skip over fairly quickly) consists in demonstrating that, in the
> present instance, the use of the phrase is attested well prior to
> WWII. (Of course, there's the countervailing trend that wants to

In fact, there is absolutely no attestation of this phrase before the
mid-1960s.  None of the popular theories is backed by any real evidence.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

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