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Shakthamac
04-16-2005, 10:36 PM
This saying is used quite a bit in everyday language. Ive heard that it was a quoted from WW2 US 8th AF fighter pilots. The loadout on their .50 cals was supposed to be around 9 yards long, thus when they gave someone the "whole 9 yards" they shot off their entire ammo load. Anyone else heard this, or have any other history on quips that originated in WW2?

LStarosta
04-16-2005, 10:46 PM
All this time I thought it was a gauge of how far you got with a girl...

FI-Aflak
04-16-2005, 10:59 PM
is that nine yards per gun, or nine yards per plane?

At one cartridge every inch, thats around 9*3*12 = 324 rounds, so its gotta be more than 9 yards per plane, right? but also estimating a cartridge evry inch if you had an ammo box 2 feet wide it would need to be a foot high to hold it all . . . where'd they stash the stuff?

Or maybes it was 9 yards per wing or something.

I'm intersted, someone who knows come and tell me!

3.JG51_BigBear
04-16-2005, 11:04 PM
When I've heard that theory its been in reference to gunners on bombers, not fighters.

Either way, I doubt that its actually the origin of the phrase.

LStarosta
04-16-2005, 11:08 PM
Actually, it is, Bigbear, and I've heard it in reference to fighters as well.

3.JG51_BigBear
04-16-2005, 11:13 PM
Do you have a source or anything? I mean what makes you so sure? I've heard several explanations for the phrase and I've never seen anything definitive for any of them.

bolillo_loco
04-16-2005, 11:21 PM
I have heard it had to do with ships. 9 yard arms, hence when captain asked if all the sails were raised the response was the whole nine yards sir.

I have also heard it was used by american pilots, P-38 units to be exact. 500 rds per gun of 50 cal would probably be about 9 yards long. .648 inches x 500 rds = 27 feet/9 yards. only problem is I forget how big the rim of the 50 cal was....but .648 sounds close.

Tully__
04-16-2005, 11:22 PM
I always thought it was an American Football reference, something to do with making 1st down.

arcadeace
04-17-2005, 12:28 AM
That's 10 yards http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Tully__
04-17-2005, 12:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Arcadeace:
That's 10 yards http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I know, it's just that the first time I heard that phrase it was being used by a football coach in some television or movie presentation about football and I always associated it with that afterwards.

arcadeace
04-17-2005, 01:05 AM
Sorry. Aussies can know real football too.

-HH-Dubbo
04-17-2005, 02:10 AM
Which fighter?

I heard that was incorrect. Here is an alternate

A tailor making a high quality suit uses more fabric. The best suits are made from nine yards of fabric.

This may seem like a lot but a proper suit does indeed take nine yards of fabric. This is because a good suit has all the fabric cut in the same direction with the warp, or long strands of thread, parallel with the vertical line of the suit. This causes a great amount of waste in suit making, but if you want to go "the whole nine yards", you must pay for such waste.

A related phrase ; "dressed to the nines".

The phrase certainly applies to the preparation of a full set of men's clothing. To fully understand this, you need to know what constituted a "full set of clothing" for a man in the 17th and 18th Centuries where the phrase can first be traced.

The items of clothing for a man were a Westkit (waistcoat), Breeches (pants) and a Great Coat. The material requirements to tailor these garments (even with a minimal amount of waste) is nine yards of material (45" width in the 1800s). A Westkit requires 1.5 yards, Breeches requires 2.0 yards and the Coat requires 5.5 yards for a total of 9.0 yards. These amounts can be confirmed with many museums, historians or period re-enactors.

The reason that the Coats required so much material was that they went from shoulder down to the back of the knee in length, and then the lower portion of the coat was full and pleated, almost like a dress. The pattern for the coat below the waist is almost a full circle

Or take a look here
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/411150.html

LEBillfish
04-17-2005, 02:30 AM
http://experts.about.com/q/1474/829265.htm

zdenkaxx1
04-17-2005, 06:35 AM
a programme on discovery wings about restored warbirds showed a stunningly accurate P-51 that had its full allocation of ammo on display at an air show. the narator stated that the belts were 9 yards in length and were the origins of the phrase,"the whole nine yards".
presuming that each of the 50 cals had a 9 yard belt how long did it take to discharge the whole nine yards ?

LStarosta
04-17-2005, 07:09 AM
Save yourself the hassle. It's the machine gun belts.

Te_Vigo
04-17-2005, 08:21 AM
350 x .303in rounds, the belt was 27'long.

To fire the whole nine yards, was to empty the ammunition belt.

(great sig. LStarosta, BTW)

Waldo.Pepper
04-17-2005, 11:30 AM
Concrete measured in yards. A truck load = 9 yards.

Shakthamac
04-17-2005, 12:38 PM
Keeping in mind that the P51's had an ammo loadout on the 2 interior guns of around 400 rpg, versus the smaller loadout for the other 4 mgs. Thus the whole 9 yards would probably correspond to the interior guns.

The suit thing is of interest as well. Dressed to the 9's and the whole 9 yards seem to go together.

If I were to guess, the saying probably originated with suits, back in the 20's or 30's. During WW2 pilots may have used this familiar quote since they understood their ammo belts were 9 yards long.

I can't find the picture right now, but I recall seeing a famous image of 6 armorers each holding a .50 cal MG and a belt of ammo standing off one wing of a P51. It was obviously a staged publicity shot, but the caption read that all the ammo they were carrying was enough for just one gun.

bolillo_loco
04-17-2005, 01:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Te_Vigo:
350 x .303in rounds, the belt was 27'long.

To fire the whole nine yards, was to empty the ammunition belt.

(great sig. LStarosta, BTW) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

having fired several 7.92mm, 30 cal, and 303 cal belt fed machine guns, both cloth and disintegrating link I can assure you that it is no where near 27 feet in lenght for the amount of ammunition you specified. a 200 round link is around 7 to 8 feet in lenght. I have had a lot of experience with atleast a dozen belt fed both belted and disintegrating link, drum fed, and clip fed machine guns from germany, japan, england, and the united states. I have fired atleast a dozen different types very frequently for atleast 10 years of my life on a weekly basis.

Owlsphone
04-17-2005, 03:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shakthamac:
I can't find the picture right now, but I recall seeing a famous image of 6 armorers each holding a .50 cal MG and a belt of ammo standing off one wing of a P51. It was obviously a staged publicity shot, but the caption read that all the ammo they were carrying was enough for just one gun. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v251/Owlsphone/MustangAmmo.jpg

CAPT_COTTON
04-17-2005, 04:43 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1072.gif

I am not sure of load out on p51 but i think the mains carred 600 rounds and the secondery carried 400 rounds and the 50s of ww2 fired 500 to 600 rounds a min. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif
The man in fore ground looks like he has a 100 round belt on his shoulder and all six of them would have 600 rounds and that mite be the whole 9 yards for one gun and when fired at same time they empty at same time and there went 9 yards ,and i missed?????? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

And now why are they carrying six fiftys on there shoulder does that mean 100 rounds for each MG Hummmmmmmmmm food fo thought http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

That means hold down the fire button [been on sims toooo long]and you get a 12 second burst of fire??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Now i am off to start game and see how long the guns fire on the p51 he he http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

edit to above ---
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/351.gifchecked and the P51D loads 400 rounds inside guns and all rest 270 each giving a grand total of 1880 rounds and when fired in game the mains ran out at 20 seconds and all guns stoped at 30 seconds giving the guns a firing rate of 600 rounds a min. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Boy was i way off in trying to remember this stuff he he http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

VBF-83_Hawk
04-17-2005, 05:04 PM
Actually, its the length of my @#U&&%$#@

Thread locked http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

I have always known it to be the ammo belts

Shakthamac
04-17-2005, 07:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Owlsphone:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shakthamac:
I can't find the picture right now, but I recall seeing a famous image of 6 armorers each holding a .50 cal MG and a belt of ammo standing off one wing of a P51. It was obviously a staged publicity shot, but the caption read that all the ammo they were carrying was enough for just one gun. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v251/Owlsphone/MustangAmmo.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That would be the one. Thanks

DrDave242
04-18-2005, 11:21 AM
The origin of this phrase has been debated for years, and still nobody knows for sure. There's just no concrete evidence to suggest that it refers to the length of an ammo belt, sorry. More information can be found here:

http://www.wordorigins.org/wordorw.htm#nineyard

RedDeth
04-18-2005, 12:16 PM
ive seen this thread about 4 times already. ad infinitum..........

ploughman
04-18-2005, 01:24 PM
I'm not as old as Reddeth so this is my first time getting "the whole nine-yards." I was reading this (http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/nineyards.htm) site and it quoted a plethora of possibilities. The credibility of the site was perhaps a little undermined when it refered to .50 calibre machine guns in Spitfires in the South Pacific (maybe there were some there?), but otherwise a soporific read. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Blackdog5555
04-18-2005, 04:30 PM
what did you do?
Answer: Man, I really gave it to him. I gave him the whole nine yards!


You gave him...
1. a truckload of cement....no
2. bridal gown..............no
3. Man suit with pleats.....no
4. almost made a first down in football....der?
5. blasted him with all you got....duh.

no brainer....LOL

Cheers BD

Aaron_GT
04-19-2005, 06:39 AM
Blackdog: the problem is that you'd expect to see references during WW2 to 'the whole nine yards' from WW2 aircrew if it was related to gun armament, but AFAIK there are no contemporary references from this source.

mauld
04-20-2005, 08:07 AM
This comes from WW1 the Vickers 303" machine gun ammunition belt was 9 yards long.