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The whole nine yards

Posted by Donald Martin on November 10, 1999

I have seen and heard messages about this phrase coming from cement trucks and scottish kilt makers, but I believe this to be wrong. The phrase was made in reference to gunners in World War 2. The ammunition belts of a 50 calliber machine gun (used to shoot at enemy planes) were 27 feet long (nine yards). If the gunner used his entire belt of ammunition on a plane, he was giving him, "The Whole nine yards." If this is not true, I would like someone to send me another answer with some supporting evidence. I always thought that this was just common knowledge?