Posted by James Briggs on October 31, 2003
In Reply to: Dressed up to the nines. posted by Penfold on October 31, 2003
: got absolutley nuffink to do with nine yards of material (or so I have been told, this is of course a rumour).
: Its cos theatre tickets in the good seats cost 9pence. You would of course get dressed up to go to the good seats. You can do the math from here
Sadly, it's most unlikely to be true! The saying is almost older even that theatres themselves in anglo-saxon England. The most accepted origin is:
It is felt that the expression started out as "dressed to the eyes". In old English "eyes" would have been "eyne" and, over the centuries this became changed to "nines".