THE WHOLE NINE YARDS.
In our consultancy services we go the whole nine yards for you. That is great, you may think, but exactly how far is that? It means that we will be there for you every step of the way until the end. We will go above and beyond, giving our all.
HOW FAR IS THAT ACTUALLY?
Literal definitionMany assume that the phrase “the whole nine yards” has something to do with the game of American football. The problem is, the length between the yard lines in football is ten yards, not nine…
There are many alternate theories surrounding the origin of this expression. This is not surprising, as there are many things that can be measured in linear, square or cubic yards.
• The length of a machine gun ammunition belt on a WWII fighter plane was 27 feet. To give the enemy “the whole nine yards” was to give him everything you had.
• The capacity of a US ready-mix concrete truck allegedly averages about 9 cubic yards. So “the whole nine yards” would refer to a complete load.
• Tailors use nine yards for top quality suits; this may be related to the expression “dressed to the nines”.
• Fabric came in bolts of nine yards and was sold per yard. If a lady wanted a dress to be exclusive, she would buy “the whole nine yards”.
• A mediaeval test required the victim to walk nine paces over hot coals.
• In the olden days, a sailing ship had horizontal “yardarms”, the crosspieces on the masts from which the sails were hung. A sailing ship would have three masts with three yards. Ergo, running up all the sails would be giving nine yards and going at top speed, under full sail.
• To escape from prison one would have to run nine yards to get from a cell block to the outer wall of a prison.
Whether there is any truth to these explanations or not, one thing we do know for sure: if we go the whole nine yards for you, it means that we will go all the way… and then some if necessary. Or, as American football legend Joe Namath once said: If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?