[Ads-l] "[go/went] the full nine yards" (Interdating, 1946-1951)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 18 16:23:58 UTC 2016

Nothing particularly helpful here, but some folks find it strange that
we haven't been able to find uses of the idiom in the 35-year gap
between "The Whole Six Yards of It" (South Carolina, 1921) and "so
that's the whole nine-yards" (Kentucky, 1956), so I thought I'd try to
fill the gap.  The expression seems to have been a favorite of Mary
"Cissy" (Peterson) Gregg, 1903-1966, who wrote a cooking column for
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY).  She was born and raised in
north central Kentucky, not too far from Lexington and, a little
farther, Frankfort.

-- Bonnie


Banana fritters can be eaten without any decoration other than a dash
of cinnamon, or a drift of whipped cream.  Others go the full nine
yards and serve them with a sauce.

[From Cissy Gregg, "Two All-Americans: Sausage and Sweets," The
Courier-Journal Roto-Magazine (Louisville, KY), 22 September 1946, p.


We went the full nine yards and added mushrooms in an overall coverage.

[From Cissy Gregg & Pat Ogden, "Mixed Grill: The Way to a Man's
Heart," The Courier-Journal Magazine (Louisville, KY), 9 February
1947, p. 18.]


It doesn't need a frosting more than perhaps a slight dusting of
powdered sugar.  We, however, always go the full nine yards and so
added a topping of buttered frosting and did a little decorating with
cinnamon drops and slivers of citron.

[From Cissy Gregg, "A Comfortable Christmas," The Courier-Journal
Magazine (Louisville, KY), 16 December 1951, p. 31.]

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

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