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View Full Version : Origins Of Sayings: What Did They Originally Mean?



TomBrooklyn
04-07-2003, 04:08 AM
There are sayings in common usage that often have little known origins.

For instance, "The Whole Nine Yards". It now means the whole thing, everything included. What was the original meaning of this saying? Nine yards of what?

Fred Agnir
04-07-2003, 09:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> There are sayings in common usage that often have little known origins.

For instance, "The Whole Nine Yards". It now means the whole thing, everything included. What was the original meaning of this saying? Nine yards of what? <hr /></blockquote>http://www.takeourword.com/et_t-z.html#nineyards

Fred

Ken
04-07-2003, 09:52 AM
Tom. It's been my belief that 9 cubic yards was the common capacity of a large dump truck and the phrase meant emptying the whole thing (and then having to deal with it). If this is true it probably originated when trucks were smaller than they are now.
KenCT

heater451
04-07-2003, 01:18 PM
http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/nineyards.htm



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eg8r
04-07-2003, 01:51 PM
Fred,

For some reason that website reminds me of the father in Big Fat Greek Wedding. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif He tries to prove how every word has a greek origin.

eg8r

bluewolf
04-07-2003, 03:38 PM
When my son was a little guy we got him this series of children's books called 'step up books'. They were on all kinds of topics and I have not seen anything near as good before or since in terms of high interest at a 2-3 grade reading level.

One of the books was called 'Foot in mouth and other sayings'. Of course it could not cover all of the sayings but it did mention quite a few and the origin. I thought it was pretty neat.

I still have those books boxed up somewhere, probably in storage. As far as I know they are out of print and in mint condition. We arent talking old. They were probably published 30 years ago.

Laura

Wally_in_Cincy
04-08-2003, 06:14 AM
http://www.wordorigins.org/wordors.htm