[JN] Fwd: "the hole nnine yards... a recent history.....

Philip Yates toobman57 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 22:28:36 CST 2021


That sounds at least as plausible as the ammo box thing, maybe even more
so. Well, petticoats, Browning 50 calibres, same thing.

Phil

On Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 9:12 AM BBands via Sound <sound at soundlist.org> wrote:

> Spence,
>
> Maybe 50 years ago I was told by a girl friend that the phrase had to do
> with petticoats, garments which consume a huge amount of fabric. The really
> good ones used 'the whole nine yards'.
>
>     John
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2021, 6:26 PM Spence Barton via Sound <sound at soundlist.org>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> I believe I am at fault for the 50 Cal ammo/9 yards idea.
>> Back in the early'80's before I learned to fly I read a book
>> by chuck Yeager (ghost written and quite poorly) from the
>> '50s or so. Long out of print, the library where I found it
>> has long since sold it off or thrown in out as worthless.
>>
>> It was full of gutsy red-neck wisdom as only the dubious
>> chuck Yeager could spin it. Good aviator but a spectacular
>> bullshit container. In it, Yeager talked about the fact that
>> the P-51 he flew in WWII had 27 feet of belted 50 cal. ammo.
>> He never used the phrase "whole nine yards" in the book.I
>> had always wondered about "the whole nine yards" phrase, it
>> had mystified me all my life and I thought I had found the
>> source. It's always been mystifying to me because NONE of
>> the people I ever knew who use the phrase ever knew where it
>> came from and those who used it, used it all the time. It's
>> like "balls to the wall". At least we know where that came
>> from but 99.999% of those who use the phrase have no idea
>> what it means.
>>
>> Fast forward to somewhere between 1990 and 2,000 AD and I
>> was flying with a captain who often used the phrase and I
>> told him where I thought it might have come from. The next
>> thing I know I see a reference on the internet and found
>> that the very same captain I had told my idea to was busy
>> making a knnow-it-all ass of himself broadcasting all over
>> the interwebs that the phrase was related to ammo belts.
>> Typical of this guy he got it all wrong and was blabing
>> about B-24 bombers having 9 yards of ammo (which is
>> ridiculous) as if it was a fact and he was the smartest guy
>> in the world and the only who knew the whole story. After
>> all an Airline Captain couldn't be wrong.
>>
>> Thankfully, he never mentioned me as the source of the idea
>> so my involvement shall remain unknown.  Next thing I know,
>> it's being repeated as gospel all over the internet. Later,
>> it's being debunked here and there but as with a lot of
>> interweb "knowledge" that is incorrect, it'll never get
>> wiped out. I had to laff and laff when I saw people arguing
>> about it and one side saying it couldn't be true because
>> B-24s had a lot more ammo. This from people who couldn't
>> spell B-24 nor ever met anyone who could. Mistake piled on
>> mistake. Especially among those who can be described as
>> "often wrong but never in  doubt".
>>
>> I have never found the book again or even found a reference
>> to it. So I can't even document the source of my connecting
>> the phrase to P-51 ammo. I will say, in all the back and
>> forth, strutting and posing about this phrase I have yet to
>> hear anything that makes as much sense as my incorrect
>> proposed explanation. Like a lot of compelling ideas, it's
>> just wrong.
>>
>> So that's my only contribution to worlds knowledge - a false
>> connection between an old, old out of print Chuck Yeager
>> book and a phrase whose source we will certainly never
>> figure out. I certainly never would have presented to the
>> world as fact. But it was fun to see how quickly the idea
>> became internet "fact".
>>
>> spence
>>
>> On 2/4/2021 2:58 PM, Christian Rintelen via Sound wrote:
>> > hey, that is a very nice explanation for the etymology of
>> > «the whole nine yards».
>> >
>> > and you’re not the only one who thinks so, asthis nice
>> > discussion
>> > <https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-16675,00.html> in
>>
>> > the guardian proves.
>> >
>> > however, according to wikipedia
>> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_whole_nine_yards>,  the
>> > earliest published non-idiomatic use of the phrase dates
>> > back to a 1855 indiana newspaper article. the earliest
>> > idiomatic use is documented in a 1907, again in indiana.
>> > these indiana instances are the ugly flies in the ointment
>> > as there were no fighters or bombers equipped with 50
>> > caliber machine guns neither in 1907 nor in 1855…
>> >
>> > to quote wikipedia again:  Yale University librarian Fred R.
>> > Shapiro calls the whole nine yards "the most prominent
>> > etymological riddle of our time". at least that!
>> >
>> > sorry to rain on your parade  🤓
>> >
>> > ©
>> > _ _ _
>> > aka christian rintelen
>> >
>> >> Am 04.02.2021 um 23:24 schrieb Philip Yates via Sound
>> >> <sound at soundlist.org <mailto:sound at soundlist.org>>:
>> >>
>> >> 1/2" = 12.7 mm, you know, the calibre of the Browning
>> >> machine guns used in so many of the WWII fighters and
>> >> bombers? :-)  The ammo boxes held 9 yards of ammunition,
>> >> hence, giving someone or something "the whole nine yards."
>> >>
>> >> Phil
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 3:52 PM bear via Sound
>> >> <sound at soundlist.org <mailto:sound at soundlist.org>> wrote:
>> >> Yeah they make 'em so they can wind down to SMT size!!
>> >>
>> >> I've got one that will do down to ~1/2" , which is some
>> >> large fraction of what
>> >> you call a Centimeter?
>> >>
>> >>                      _-_-bear
>> >>
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