whole nine yards
HSTAHLKE at GW.BSU.EDU
Thu Jun 29 12:11:58 UTC 2000
The test of the British version, of course, is whether the term appears in British sources. Has anyone searched there?
>>> Bapopik at AOL.COM 06/28/00 07:48PM >>>
I have done much research on "the whole nine yards," but have come up
empty. I think I had looked through Tamony's papers a few years ago.
I found the "nine yards of cloth" that's in the RHHDAS.
There are several things that disturb me about the WWII origin. The time
gap is a big one. "Nine yards" is first cited in the mid-1960s. I went to
the Military College in Carlysle, PA last year (if anyone remembers) to
research military slang lists. "Nine yards" just wasn't there.
I also didn't find the phrase in a football context in the 1960s,
although it would assume that in the 1970s.
I didn't find it in Vietnam War slang.
There are a few more possibilities I'll try.
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