phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Dressed to the nines

Posted by Che Rivers on August 30, 2000

In Reply to: Dressed to the nines posted by ESC on December 28, 1999

: : anyone know the origin of the phrase "Dressed to the nines?"

: "Dressed to the nines" is a shipping term from back when ships had 3 masts each with 3 primary yards. Usually not all in use - hence "the whole nine yards". Therefore, on very formal occasions or to celebrate a victory the ship would be in full sail or "dressed to the nines". For more info see yacht-volant.org/sailortalk/seaterms01.html