Posted by Admin - 27/10/2015
The Whole Nine Yards, where does that expression come from? When you hear the expression “going the whole 9 yards” what does it conjure up in your mind? Machine gun ammunition, witchcraft, a hangman’s rope, ships, cement, sports, film, clothes, coal mines – even Nuns?
And where does it come from? Here, ‘over there’, India, Scotland, Vietnam?
There are loads of theories out there: Bruce Willis in that movie ‘the whole 9 yards’ with the other guy I can never remember, something to do with American Football? But they have 10 yard lines.
Possibly even Rugby where recently the England team were coached to go the whole 9 yards and took it literally, rather than the 22 yards they needed.
Here is my absolute favourite theory (but, I must stress, not the driving force behind why we chose the name). I am sorry I don’t have the author’s name to attribute it.
“Regarding the origin of ‘the whole nine yards’; it comes from the future. In the year 2143 a genetically engineered plant made from a combination of bamboo and corn was to make a house that, in an emergency, you could eat.
The first family to own one of these houses was a family whose last name was actually “Yod”, and yes, there were nine of them. Icky Yod, Solmo Yod, Ricky Yod, Festo Yod, Hilamina Yod, Gestor Yod, Smick Yod, old man Yod who never had a first name or just forgot it, and finally his wife, Manalma Yod.
At the celebration of this family first moving in, people were skeptical, thinking that in an emergency, the family would not survive the promised six weeks simply by eating the house.
Those who knew reassured those who didn’t that indeed the house would feed “all nine Yods” for the promised month and a half. “What about water?” was asked, but the man who asked it was quickly taken away.
For several years the phrase “all nine Yods” spread throughout neighbouring towns, as way of promising that this new edible house idea would live up to the promise.
The builders of these new homes soon got irritated with questions about the houses they were building and started slurring the answer, “All Nine Yods” slowly morphed to “whole nine Yods” when a reporter misheard one of the builders slurring the phrase, and not knowing who or what a Yod was, spelled it “yards” because he knew that word. So it was published that these new homes promised “the whole nine yards promise”, and slowly the phrase “the whole nine yards promise” spread as a builder’s promise, until the ‘promise’ was dropped as being redundant. Thus, full or complete endeavours that were promised became ‘whole nine yards” promises, whether it be a builder or not.
I have no evidence for this but if you live long enough, you’ll be able to find it when it happens.”
Whatever you think about the origins of the expression, all of the people we have spoken to agree it conjures up the right images for what we are doing.
Let us know what you think it means, best/funniest answer gets a copy of ‘the whole nine yards’ DVD or ‘Back to the future’ if you like the story above.
Oh, and the other guy in the movie was Matt Perry – the guy from Friends.