Posted by Gary on February 28, 2000
In Reply to: The Whole 9 Yards posted by Barry on February 28, 2000
: : : : I had always understood it to refere to the amount of fabric in a man's fully pleated kilt. As a theatrical costumer I *have* made them and it does take that much .
: : : Please see http://www.shu.ac.uk/cgi-bin/tp_post4.cgi?=411150 for some background on this.
: : : Gary
: : Maybe this is a clue. I was just reading a murder mystery that had a reference to pouring concrete to build a dam. The term "four-yard bucket" of concrete was used.
: In the UK - as a result of our joining the EU - we are changing all Imperial measurements to the Metric standard. As a result we've been notified that all phrases referencing the old measurement standards may no longer be used.
: It's not necessary to expunge such references from literature etc. but it is not lawful to include them in new work published after Jan 1st 2000. Hence you'll find little comment from this side of the pond on the subject matter of this thread.
: Remember, we have a government now who are wedded to 'The Third Way'.
Of course Barry is right. This press release was obtained by the Phrase Finder office from a source 'close to the Prime Minister' recently:
'Re the Whole Nine Yards:
Her Majesty's Government view any earlier so-called derivations of this phrase to be inappropriate in the period of linguistic change we now find ourselves. When making speeches MPs should select one derivation from this list:
1. The phrase refers to the length of material required to make
an Amani suit.
2. It is the maximum distance any minister is allowed to travel from his/her spin doctor.
3. It is the number of shipyards closed down by the UK government in a single year.
The old-fashioned and failing 'yard' has been replaced by the progressive, dynamic and voter-friendly 'new yard'. The government is following the able lead of the Metroploitan Police in the renaming of their headquarters from Scotland Yard to New Scotland Yard. The size of the unit of measurement will be decided on a day to day basis by a New Yard electoral acceptability focus group.