Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 13 22:27:51 UTC 2001

A. Maberry wrote:
>On Tue, 13 Mar 2001, Alice Faber wrote:
>> >
>> >So is a megillah nine yards long?
>> My first reaction was to say no, of course not. But, actually, I'm
>> not so sure. Even if this was intended as a joke.
>Megillah is from the Hebrew root GLL which basically means "to roll".
>Don't think the length is an issue. I'm pretty just means any rolled

Of course...but I was thinking specifically of the Book of Esther,
which is a relatively short book. I honestly don't know how long that
scroll is. Within the semi-Hebrew/Yiddish speaking American Jewish
communities I'm familiar with, The Megillah (when it's not being used
metaphorically) always refers specifically to the Book of Esther.

And, hey...I've now got a full year to come up with a really good
Purimspiel proposing this as an etymology for "the whole nine yards"
and then the rest of my life to explain to people that it really was
a joke.
Alice Faber                                             faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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