The Whole Nine Yards

December 2nd, 2009  

Topic: The Whole Nine Yards

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
Another explanation is this one:
British Frigates of the 19th Century had 27' masts. The ship speed was controlled by the amount of sail raised. To achieve full speed, the 'whole nine yards' was hoisted. This usage of the word is in the QM's book from one of the few ships that fought at Trafalgar and the Nile - pre-dating WW2 by 150 years.
December 5th, 2009  
Two very interesting accounts.
December 5th, 2009  
Mighty Mouse
I had heard of the first before but not the second. Thanks for posting that one.

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