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Re: Deep 6 the W9Y and brass monkeys

Posted by Gary Martin on June 23, 2005

In Reply to: Deep 6 the W9Y and brass monkeys posted by Lewis on June 23, 2005

: : : : : : Not a question, but a suggestion- you should add "the whole nine yards" to the index- It's from WWII when a pilot would shoot at something and use up the whole ammo belt in the machine gun. A belt of preloaded shells was 9 yards long (approx.) Thus when you really tear into something you are giving it "the whole 9 yards".

: : : : : What a novel idea! Thanks for sharing. By the way, Joe, read this: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/411150.html

: : : : Better idea: let's add a counter to the website that would add up the number of times W9Y theories bubble up to the surface. Every 100 submissions, the sender gets a prize: 9 yards of concrete wrapped in a kilt, maybe.

: : : I've a -- not sure what to call it, a "meta [something] perhaps. When and why did it become so popular to post 'whole nine yards' theories? I am reminded of back when print was just becoming risque there was a fad of creating acronyms for naughty words. Fornication Upon Command of the King was popular. When did 'whole nine yards' theories become the fad or fancy?

: : Maybe W9Y theories were always popular, and this forum gave them a stage to prance upon. --rb

: the phrase cold enough to freeze...
: oh, I give up! Perhaps there should be a special box listing w9y and brass monkey stories. I am still waiting for w9y in print in the 1950s - I am so longing for it!
: not to mention the co-efficient of expansion of brass compared to iron.

: L

The BBC's Wordhunt appeal that was posted about earlier may include W9Y. I've been in touch with them and the OED to confirm a citation earlier than the OED's current earliest of 1970. A mass TV audience public appeal is probably the only way we're going to find earlier sightings in print of these phrases.