"the whole nine yards" meaning in English

See the whole nine yards in All languages combined

Adverb

Etymology: Dave Wilton summarises the findings of Bonnie Taylor-Blake and others: :The phrase doesn’t have one particular origin, nor does it represent one particular metaphor. Instead, it seems to have evolved from a sense of yard meaning a vague quantity of something. Later, the words full or whole were attached to it, and even later it was quantified by the numbers six and nine, with the whole nine yards eventually winning out and becoming the canonical form. Use of the full phrase was for a long time restricted to the American Midwest, in particular to the region around the Kentucky-Indiana border, before breaking out into general American parlance in the middle of the twentieth century. … :So regardless of what someone else has told you, the whole nine yards does not refer to the length of a belt of WWII machine-gun ammunition, the amount of material needed to make a Scottish kilt, the number of spars on a sailing ship, the amount of concrete a cement mixer holds, or anything else. Etymology templates: {{num|whole nine yards, the}}, {{R2A|whole nine yards, the|no_error=1}}, {{m|en|yard}} yard, {{m|en|full}} full, {{m|en|whole}} whole, {{m|en|six}} six, {{m|en|nine}} nine, {{m|en|the whole nine yards}} the whole nine yards Head templates: {{head|en|adverb|head=the whole nine yards}} the whole nine yards
  1. All the way; with everything done completely or thoroughly.
    Sense id: the_whole_nine_yards-en-adv-GA.yXFMa

Noun

Etymology: Dave Wilton summarises the findings of Bonnie Taylor-Blake and others: :The phrase doesn’t have one particular origin, nor does it represent one particular metaphor. Instead, it seems to have evolved from a sense of yard meaning a vague quantity of something. Later, the words full or whole were attached to it, and even later it was quantified by the numbers six and nine, with the whole nine yards eventually winning out and becoming the canonical form. Use of the full phrase was for a long time restricted to the American Midwest, in particular to the region around the Kentucky-Indiana border, before breaking out into general American parlance in the middle of the twentieth century. … :So regardless of what someone else has told you, the whole nine yards does not refer to the length of a belt of WWII machine-gun ammunition, the amount of material needed to make a Scottish kilt, the number of spars on a sailing ship, the amount of concrete a cement mixer holds, or anything else. Etymology templates: {{num|whole nine yards, the}}, {{R2A|whole nine yards, the|no_error=1}}, {{m|en|yard}} yard, {{m|en|full}} full, {{m|en|whole}} whole, {{m|en|six}} six, {{m|en|nine}} nine, {{m|en|the whole nine yards}} the whole nine yards Head templates: {{head|en|noun|head=the whole nine yards}} the whole nine yards
  1. (And) everything; often used, like etc., to finish out a list. Categories (topical): Nine
    Sense id: the_whole_nine_yards-en-noun-fNG7z5ny Disambiguation of Nine: 27 73 Synonyms: everything Translations ((And) everything): hottentottententententoonstelling [feminine] (Dutch), das volle Programm (German), minden (Hungarian), y toda la pesca (Spanish)

Download JSON data for the whole nine yards meaning in English (6.8kB)

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          "ref": "2007, Thomas Mchenry, Along the Rails: A Juror's Journey‎, page 85",
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          "ref": "2007, R. D. Reynolds, The Wrestlecrap Book of Lists!‎, page 18",
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          "ref": "2012, Susan Stephens, Working with the Enemy‎, page 164",
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    "the whole nine yards"
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}

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          "ref": "2009, Jason Barbacovi, Me and Chairman Mao‎, page 101",
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        "everything; often used, like etc., to finish out a list."
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        "(And) everything; often used, like etc., to finish out a list."
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      "sense": "(And) everything",
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      "word": "hottentottententententoonstelling"
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    {
      "code": "de",
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      "sense": "(And) everything",
      "word": "das volle Programm"
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      "sense": "(And) everything",
      "word": "minden"
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      "word": "y toda la pesca"
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  "wikipedia": [
    "the whole nine yards"
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  "word": "the whole nine yards"
}

This page is a part of the kaikki.org machine-readable English dictionary. This dictionary is based on structured data extracted on 2022-01-20 from the enwiktionary dump dated 2022-01-01 using wiktextract. The data shown on this site has been post-processed and various details (e.g., extra categories) removed, some information disambiguated, and additional data merged from other sources. See the raw data download page for the unprocessed wiktextract data.