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whole nine yards, the

Slang definitions & phrases for whole nine yards, the

whole nine yards, the

noun phrase

The totality; everything; the whole thing; the WHOLE SHEBANG: went with the odd-looking ship, built a press platform in front of it, had power brought in for press lights, ''the whole nine yards''/ guys in black tie passing champagne and the whole nine yards/ Floods. Fires. The whole nine yards

[1960s+ Army & Air Force; origin unknown; perhaps based on the load of a concrete mixing and hauling truck, which normally comes in a nine-yard and a ten-yard size; perhaps based on yard, ''one hundred dollars,'' rather than on the linear or cubic measure]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with whole nine yards, the

whole nine yards, the

Everything that is relevant; the whole thing. For example, He decided to take everything to college—his books, his stereo, his computer, his skis, the whole nine yards. The source of this expression is not known, but there are several possibilities: the amount of cloth required to make a complete suit of clothes; the fully set sails of a three-masted ship where each mast carries three yards, that is, spars, to support the sails; or the amount of cement (in cubic yards) contained in a cement mixer for a big construction job.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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