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Old 11-10-17, 05:35
r.morrison r.morrison is offline
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Default " the whole nine yards"......

Gentlemen.....hope you're all keeping well. During my time in this hobby, the phrase "the whole nine yards", I was told, was attributed to the armies on the ground and a "Vickers Machine Gun". The belt was/is nine yards long and when they said "they gave him the whole nine yards" it meant they shot out the entire belt of ammo (250) at the enemy. A friend of mine who is recently back from Halifax and the wonderful Citadel Museum, claims that the staff member attributes the phrase to the air force. Any comments from the audience.

Cheers....Robert
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Old 11-10-17, 06:01
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is online now
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In the interest of inter-service rivalry, I can't see a reason that the navy couldn't claim the phrase too... Perhaps three masts, each with three yards would give the whole nine yards?
How many good (or bad) stories can we come up with?
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Old 11-10-17, 06:51
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I was watching a program on the internet called "airplane resurrection" The focus of the program was the restoration of a P51 Mustang, the former WW2 pilot they interviewed mentioned that the belts of ammunition were 9 yards long...hence the saying...so that is one vote for the airmen!
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Old 11-10-17, 08:10
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I have always been under the impression that it referred to 50bmg. in aircraft
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Old 11-10-17, 08:32
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Ron Pier Ron Pier is offline
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According to what I can see on the internet. No one really knows the origin. But interesting topic to debate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_whole_nine_yards

Ron
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Old 12-10-17, 01:06
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Bowker View Post
In the interest of inter-service rivalry, I can't see a reason that the navy couldn't claim the phrase too... Perhaps three masts, each with three yards would give the whole nine yards?
How many good (or bad) stories can we come up with?
Weren't sails called 'sheets' on wind powered naval vessels, hence the phrase "three sheets to the wind"?

I think your Citadel friend may have been an army dude, I don't think 250 rounds of Vickers makes anything close to nine yards. Maybe in metric it does??

(aside, ain't Halifax the greatest place on earth?)
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Old 12-10-17, 02:30
Russ Gregg Russ Gregg is offline
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Interesting. I had heard that it took nine yards of fabric for a tailor to make a full formal suit for a man, as if you weren't skimping on anything. Also ties in to the related idiom, 'dressed to the nines'.
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Old 12-10-17, 07:05
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My father won a prize at a plowing contest once. It was a suit-length of cloth. Not nine yards, but enough to sew a man's suit.
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Old 12-10-17, 07:37
Michael R. Michael R. is offline
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See: highlandsecrets.com

Q. How many yards of fabric are used in making the Great Kilt?

A. Centuries ago, Highlanders not only hunted and fought in their plaid, they slept in it! The expression, "the whole 9 yards", came from the amount of material (approx. 9 yards) used to outfit our hearty ancestors. In those days, fabric was only woven in single widths (approx. 28 inches). This amount of fabric in single width is equivalent to Highland Secrets' double width fabric (between 4-1/2 and 7-1/2 yards) used in making our Great Kilts. The latter yardage represents a mighty big Highlander!
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Old 15-10-17, 15:38
Ed Landstrom Ed Landstrom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Parker View Post
Weren't sails called 'sheets' on wind powered naval vessels, hence the phrase "three sheets to the wind"?

I think your Citadel friend may have been an army dude, I don't think 250 rounds of Vickers makes anything close to nine yards. Maybe in metric it does??

(aside, ain't Halifax the greatest place on earth?)
"Sheets" are the ropes that control the sails, not the sails themselves (at least in modern sailing vessels .)
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