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Best Theory For Where The Term 'Whole Nine Yards' Originated

whole nine yards

Though most phrases are often thought of as antiquated, "whole nine yards" wasn’t actually seen in print until the early 1960’s.

There are a few competing theories as to the term's origins but perhaps the most plausible comes from WWII.

During pre-flight preparations combat planes would be outfitted with munitions.

In particular, 0.50 caliber ammo came in belts and would be fed into the machine gun of the plane - a full load measuring 27 feet or 9 yards.

If a gunner unloaded all his ammunition, he would have given the enemy the "whole nine yards".


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Author: Word Wizard
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