- The origin is unknown, but many theories exist. The earliest known print appearance in these senses is in an article by Stephen Trumbell in the 1964-04-25 Tuscon Daily Citizen, titled “Talking Hip in the Space Age” and discussing NASA jargon: “‘Give ’em the whole nine yards’ means an item-by-item report on any project.” The synonymous variant “all nine yards” appeared in a letter from Gale F. Linster to the editor of the 1962-12 Car Life. An earlier variant, “whole six yards”, is attested from 1912, which appears to invalidate various theories that attach specific import to the nine yards (such as a theory connecting it to the length of ammunition belts on World War II B-17 bombers, and one connecting it to the amount of concrete that a concrete mixer can hold), as well as theories that postulate a World War II origin. (Wiktionary)
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These user-created lists contain the word ‘the whole nine yards’.
Common words or phrases of nautical origin that have taken on different or metaphorical meanings. Chained_bear and I tossed a coin over who would make the list. I won (or lost, depending on how you...
scuttlebutt, taken aback, brass monkey, boot camp, clean bill of health, three sheets to t..., the devil to pay, between the devil..., by and large, the whole nine yards, mind your ps and qs, slush fund and 116 more...
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