Discovery on "Whole Nine Yards"

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Tue Apr 27 17:40:40 UTC 2004

>Fred Shapiro  writes:
>Stephen Goranson has energetically promoted the theory that "whole nine
>yards" derives from "yards" referring to the Montagnard tribes in Vietnam.
>It is of course possible that "whole nine yards" could have disseminated
>from a Vietnam origin to Florida in the three or more years between when
>it was first used in the Vietnam War and 1969.  However, 1969 is early
>enough to suggest that the term may have originated in the United States
>rather than in Indochina.
If the Montagnard tribes  was the true original referent, wouldn't you
expect to find the earliest uses of "nine yards" to be "all nine yards"?
"Whole nine yards" and "full nine yards" always seems to suggest a single
entity with a certain dimension or area as the referent.
A. Murie

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