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"whole nine yards"

Posted by Joseph Berry on January 09, 2002

My comment supports the WWII aircraft origin of this phrase. I have read, though I do not now recall the source, that carrier based fighter planes, e.g. Hellcat, stored machine gun ammunation in the wings in belts. These belts were 9 yards long. A pilot upon return might say, for instance, "I gave that enemy munition plant the Whole nine yards." JB