The Whole 9 Yards

Contents: Meaning | Origin | Spread

Meaning

What does The Whole 9 Yards mean?

The whole 9 yards is an American colloquial expression, meaning “the whole thing” as a phrase, or “all the way” as an expression.

In other words, the expression is used to refer to everything you could wish for, do, or accomplish.

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Origin

What's the origin ofThe Whole 9 Yards

The expression’s origin is currently unknown and is debated by the linguist community.

Yale University’s former librarian Fred R. Shapiro once described the whole 9 yards as “the most prominent etymological riddle of our time”.

The colloquial term first appeared in print in 1855 in the 4th Volume of a magazine titled Yankee Notions”.

Spread & Usage

How did The Whole 9 Yards spread?

The term gained popularity and started to spread widely in everyday spoken language during the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S.

The Whole 9 Yards even became the title of a relatively popular crime-comedy movie which featured actors Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, released in the year 2000.

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