The phrase "The Whole Nine Yards" has very mysterious origins. There are many plausible explanations to its origins, but no true reference to its actual origins can be found. The meaning of "the whole nine yards" is "completely, the whole, everything".
Some of the more reasonable suggestions to the origin of the "the whole nine yards":
- yardage in American football (ten yards needed for a first down)
- amount of cloth needed for a kilt, burial shroud, or three-piece suit
- length of some pieces of World War II military equipment (bomb rack or ammunition belt)
- capacity of a ready-made cement truck
- other types of "yards": properties on a city block, naval shipyards, yardarms on a sailing ship.
- The amount of dirt required for a large burial plot;
The earliest identified use of the exact phrase is credited to Admiral Emory Scott Land in 1942. He used the term the whole nine yards when referring to the nine ship yards that build the Liberty Ships.
It seems the most frequently quoted is from World War II, where it is suggested that to "go the full nine yards" was to fire an entire aircraft machine-gun ammunition belt, nine yards long. But out of the thousands of books and newspapers written during the war, there is no reference to the phrase.
The phrase "The Whole Nine Yards" seems to be shrouded in mystery as to its origins.
Most commonly quoted weird fact for the phrase "The Whole Nine Yards" is:
"The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the Pacific.When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards.""
This fact is unverifiable.